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Love this background in Uptown, Houston!

Color was not missing from the spots we found around Houston, nor was it missing in the personalities of these two on their engagement shoot. My time spent with Morgan and Coby was effortless and refreshing as their energy kept us optimistic through the heat and our raging “hanger” (hunger and anger) near the end of the shoot. I’m beyond excited to be photographing their wedding in just a few short weeks with all the fun things they have planned. I’ve known this couple for a few years now, and have always adored how much they care for each other. That can’t be faked in photos and I’m honored they have asked me to photograph one of the biggest days of their lives together. I’m looking forward to writing more about this shoot but have to run down the road now to Deer Park for a new sports graphic design project. I also just recently launched a website that made its way to Wall Street Journal!

sonnier-engagement Montrose in Houston has beautiful backgrounds sonnier-on-westheimer sonnier-triangles sonnier-green-wall sonnier-engagement-yellow-wall Sonnier Engagement on Westheimer Sonnier Engagement on Westheimer sonnier-montrose



sonnier sonnier-coby Biscuit Wall! sonnier-morgan



So the real reason I was in Africa was to get these shots of this amazing diving school there just outside of Cape Town, South Africa. I decided I wanted to run the shoot in HDR and loved the shots I got! I will write so much more but hope you enjoy this!air-tank-jacks-chest-dive jacks-chest-dive jacks-dive instructing-jacks-dive-chest chamber-jacks-dive scuba-divers jacks-chest-dive-scuba scuba-diving-jacks-chest-dive oxygen-tanks-jacks-dive-chest rufus-coke the-group



I’ll just jump into this. It’s June 10 this morning [1:15A] and I am editing photos, trying to recap on a two month escapade that started with a first time cruise trip on April 6th. Between the time of booking that cruise and actually leaving for it, I was presented with an opportunity to go to Africa to photograph a diving school by way of a friend I’d met traveling in France more than a year prior. There we were, sailing away from the coast and as I looked back, I found myself thinking how crazy it would be that once we landed 7 days later back home in Texas, I’d be packing my bags to go to Africa the following day.

As we settled into our first of many beers, I mentioned to my friends what I had been thinking, “Damn guys, it’s crazy that we land back home Saturday night at 4 and then I board a plane for South Africa Sunday at 8.” They all looked at each other, and then looked at me. “Maigen, we don’t dock at 4 on Saturday, we dock at 8A on Sunday”… Silence for a moment. Well you only live once, right?! That’s what I get for going full throttle all the time with a life motto of “I”m in, tell me the details later!” And that’s how it happened. We docked at 8A, and as soon as I got on land, I was speeding off to home so I could at least do laundry and pack for 3 weeks leaving that same night.

hiking in africabeer-cans

When I got to Africa, I was met by my friend Clint and three of his awesome friends from the diving school, Seko, Rufus, and Zayne. I had no idea that for the next 3 weeks I’d be “one of the boys”, sleeping outside with nothing but a jacket, drinking beer that was kept cold in the river, taking a 9 hour road trip in a car that bottomed out at the sign of any bump [RUFUS!]bags strapped to the top of the car, and learning how to play rugby on the beach.



camping in south africa


The part that I was the most excited about that improv camp night, was getting this, my favorite shot. I miss it so much.

my favorite shot of south africa

nighttime in south africa






handstands at nelson mandela's statuerufi-zayne


Towards the end of my time there, we made our way out to Zayne and Rufus’s families and their farms, you know on that 9 hour road trip!  As soon as I walked into our first stop, Zayne’s house, I was sized up by Zayne’s dad who said, “Come with me”. Intimidated as hell, I followed as he wound through the house to end up outside and through another door; opening up to the most amazing mancave on the planet. Leon disappeared behind the bar and surfaced with a foggy glass bottle and then prompted me with a question that only being raised on a farm could prepare you for, “Have you ever been dewormed?” – Unsure at how to respond, I said no but that I knew how to do it. Then I started thinking this might get intense. He told me I had to be cleansed and slid the bottle my way. Keeping my eye on him, I took a big drink from the mouthpiece and swallowed. Then I took another. That seemed to have done the trick and I passed the test of a wine and moonshine mixture that later ended in the most fun drinking games and the most delicious sandwiches I’ve ever eaten, complete with chutney!





Later in the night, Leon went on to tell me about his experiences running for office in the local area and how he had saved the mud splattered advertisements he had made that were disheveled by the segregation that the country has been experiencing as of late. I just didn’t want to leave this family’s presence. They were so amazing to talk to and learn from and Zayne’s mom was such a great cook.





Do you ever think about all of the people you’ll never see again? All of the houses you’ve stepped into that you’ll never step into again. All of the conversations you’ve had with people that you’ll never have again. All of the days in times past that you spent with people that will never walk with you again. I wonder if you change people, or if people change you. Maybe it really does happen that you do both at the same time. I’m curious about the world of influence on people, and things. In marketing, and in personal relationships. I’ve been so far disconnected from my blog, my thoughts, and bettering my knowledge base. Like Staind said, it’s been a while.

A year has gone by and I am still recovering from the life changes it brought. I’ve seen the sun rise more times than is healthy, and I’ve missed out on so many times with friends. I bury myself in my work to put it in demand and I ignore all other aspects of my life. It is the price I have paid to better my circumstances. How ironic. I hope that this next year brings a better balance of life and work and I hope I can learn how to enjoy that. I don’t want to SEO this post, and I don’t want to post any photos. Maybe in the next few. I’m under a heavy workload, and finally found myself in deep thought about my own life instead of the fury of business cards, websites, photo shoots, and brands I’m in. Thought I’d capture my sporadic thoughts to try and recover at least something of myself. Seems I have a mad right hand mouse click that overshadows the fact that there is a person attached to that hand.

Black by Pearl Jam on Grooveshark



I can’t wait to finish posting the rest of the photos from this beautiful wedding that I photographed for such a wonderful couple. The reception ended at the Houstonian, and I just loved how the photos turned out! So so many more coming! :)











Reception at the Houstonian


Arriving at the Houstonian

ellis10Houstonian Reception Exit