On 3rd Year as a HeARTS Speak Artist

On my 3rd year as a HeARTS Speak artist!

My love for homeless animals’ plight continues

I continue my pro bono work for the HeARTS Speak global organization by providing beautiful dog portraits to help homeless dogs get adopted.

Why? My love for all innocent creatures is quite simply put, endless. And my love for dogs in particular, is kind of strange considering I got bit in the face at the tender age of 4. This event required stitches for my face by my lips. You’d think that would have traumatized me, but no. My favorite TV show was “Lassie”, and my older siblings would make fun of me for crying whenever an animal on that show got hurt.

At a very young age I read my first “big book” which was, “Lassie Come Home”.  So the origin of these deep-rooted feelings comes from deep within my soul. I now keep three dogs as pets of all different sizes and breeds – all rescues. I really wish I could save them all!

When I first moved to Bastrop County late 2012, I got involved with the community by volunteering at the local shelter to transport dogs to prevent them from being euthanized due to shelter overcrowding. But once one of the volunteers learned that I was a professional photographer, she instead got me busy photographing the shelter dogs weekly to help them get adopted. After she left there, I primarily worked with a different volunteer as a dog handler, . This activity went on for a few years until Amy left that shelter and went to a different one.

In 2016 I Learned About A Special Organization

I joined HeARTS Speak, a nationally recognized 501c3 nonprofit organization that’s uniting art and advocacy to increase the visibility of shelter animals. United in their efforts, their global community of innovative thinkers, top-notch artists, and tireless advocates are saving lives, supporting animal welfare organizations, and transforming the world’s perception of pet adoption. 

This also coincides with the time when I started volunteering at the Lockhart Animal Shelter. My dog handler is a tireless volunteer there who oversees the rescue efforts of the homeless pets. It’s because of her that I can take great photos of the dogs to market for adoption. I could write a book on how my dog handler friend has transformed that little country animal shelter! She helped raise funds to provide air-conditioned kennels and large play yards for their dogs. It makes me proud to know that this is with whom I volunteer!

I don’t think I’ll ever stop providing pro bono work photographing homeless pets up for adoption. A few of the other organizations that I’ve provided this work to include Bastrop Animal Shelter, Bastrop Animal Rescue, Hardy-Hayes Refuge, and I Once Was Lost Animal Advocacy. I also cross-post animals in need of homes on Facebook as “Marlene’s Hope“.

Do you happen to volunteer anywhere? Do you have an endless love or passion for anything? Please do tell me, I would love to hear about it!
Hearts Speak dog photo

How Important is a Professional Head Shot?

First Impressions

Need I say more? We all know only too well how important first impressions are and with business nowadays normally first conducted via an online search for your product or services, it’s important you represent them well with a professional head shot. Virtual personal branding is as important as a firm handshake once was in introducing yourself to the world.

Especially for Small Business Owners…

Your face represents your business! It’s so important to update your visual brand annually. So taking a photo with your phone’s camera just doesn’t cut it. In fact, it will reflect poorly on you and your business!

Potential Customers

Your potential customers want to know who you are as opposed to just what you do. And without a head shot available on your website or social media site, no initial trust can be formed. People only want to do business with people they feel they can trust.

Job Hunting and Recruiting

Depending on your industry, many professionals are on LinkedIn and it is used to keep others posted on a current job status and for looking at peer’s statuses. I’ve heard from others that if you’re not getting messages from recruiters, then you’re LinkedIn is not serving it’s purpose. Therefore, keeping your LinkedIn up-to-date is key! You’re probably already aware that One of the first things people see on LinkedIn is your photo. If you want to show a recruiter or a future employee that you’re serious and experienced, then your photo should show that too.

The Importance of a Professional Photographer

This is when it becomes really important to choose your photographer wisely.  The right photographer will prepare you in advance about what to wear and, if applicable, where to do the session for atmosphere, to achieve the desired effect in your profession. She will know how to make you feel at ease on the day if  you’ve never spent any length of time in front of a camera lens. She will use her trained skills to  be able to set up lighting, composition, backgrounds and props appropriate to your goal and advise you on posing. She will show you the camera’s images from the back of her camera as you do them to ensure you’re getting what you need.

Some Steps to Consider

  • Hire a professional photographer
  • Hire a professional makeup artist
  • Consult with your photographer or stylist to assist you in choosing the most flattering outfits for your head shot
  • Select at least two outfits in which to be photographed; pick a colorful jacket, tie or scarf, but not so much to detract attention from your face
  • Plan on spending $200 – $800 to get exactly what you need
  • Be sure to get both web-sized and full-resolution files for online use and print, respectively
  • For the full-resolution files, be sure to get a print-release from the photographer


Make sure what you choose to wear for your head shot is up-to-date.

Investing in a professional head shot can do wonders for your business!

Just Got Back from Texas School of Photography!

Just Got Back from Texas School of Photography!

What is this and why do I care?

I have gotten my fix to stimulate my creative juices while at Texas School of Photography in April 2017. I spent an entire week studying under two mentors; this year I chose Videography and studied for the week under Mitch Daniels & Billie Welliver.

Talk about experience! My goodness, between the two of them they have over 50 years experience in video production in a plethora of genres, including weddings.

Since then I’ve ordered a gimbal for the iPhone and GoPro cameras to steady the video results. I’m ready to embark on my personal experience working with this invaluable tool. I’ve also got the awesome iPhone 7 Plus on order, awaiting shipping fulfillment. I now have experienced DSLR video production using my Nikon D800 on a monopod. I selected this genre of study due to my emerging drone photography skills and will resume studying for my commercial FAA drone license – my ultimate goal to complete for 2017.

I am committed to continuous photographic learning as part of my Certified Professional Photographer (CPP) certification from the Professional Photographers of America (PPA) organization. This is to ensure you receive the most up-to-date, comprehensive photographic knowledge for your chosen photographer. As of today, I am the *only* CPP in all of Bastrop County! To bring you the best in photographic services in our quaint but growing town.


Have You Heard the BIG News?

Have You Heard the BIG News?

All About You Portraits is expanding their services to include helping small businesses grow their online market!

That’s right, now All About You Portraits will be helping small businesses in their community grow their client base by providing mobile-friendly websites and much, much more!

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  • Custom mobile web app
  • Hosting
  • Support for small business custom domain
  • Google Analytics integration
  • Email lead generation form
  • X hours of site updates per [year / quarter / month]


  • Headshot session with web-ready images (including rights to use them online)
  • On-location shoot for two hours (enough for headshots plus photos of business)
  • On-location shoot for four hours (day-in-the-life kind of session)
  • Additional photography such as family photos for “About Me,” holiday cards, seasonal sessions, special offer session updated often, etc.
  • X Retouched images


  • 90 second video (made from stills and title slides)
  • 90 second Documentary-style video (simple video footage cut in with still and title slides that tells the story)
  • 4 30-second Ad videos for Instagram


  • Logo design
  • Print material design (Business cards, flyers, postcards, etc.) that you we for you and/or have printed
  • Printing
  • Composite Photoshop work


  • X hours of social media marketing coaching

Do you know of a business who could use any of these services for a low, monthly fee?

Please have them call me, Marlene, at 512-626-5986  – if you want to earn $25 cash for each referral who signs up with me!

More information can be found at allaboutyourbiz.net.