About Jen McDonald

Jen McDonald is Communications Manager at Interfaith of The Woodlands. She has worked as a photographer and graphic designer for the past ten years. Currently Jen manages branding, marketing, and publicity for Interfaith. She has lived in The Woodlands for the past eight years and enjoys volunteer work and spending time with her son.

Giving Goes Glam Fashion Raises Much Needed Funds

Community models strut the runway for the 8th Annual Giving Goes Glam Fashion Show and Luncheon, presented by CHI St. Luke’s Health – The Woodlands Hospital with Exclusive Automotive Partner Sewell. Combining fashion and philanthropy, the New York–style runway show highlighted spring trends provided by Saks Fifth Avenue at The Woodlands Waterway Marriott Hotel & Convention Center on Friday, April 5th. Over 730 guests arrived dressed to impress in support of two local organizations, The Junior League of The Woodlands and Interfaith of The Woodlands, raising more than $315,000 for both organizations.

Jennifer Colerick, President of Junior League of The Woodlands shared, “This event has evolved so much over these past eight years. To continue with this partnership and watch it thrive, all in service of our community is remarkable.”

The venue was adorned with beautiful geodes generously on loan from The Houston Museum of Natural Science, an array of fresh florals, underwritten by Piney Rose Floral, and a stunning amethyst color palette provided the perfect backdrop for the gemstone themed event. Co-chairs, Nicole Murphy, and Emily Wilcox greeted guests with a champagne-themed raffle for a Market Street shopping spree, along with an enticing silent auction including 100 packages. DJ Kenny Sanchez provided the music backdrop while guests waited to enter the Ballroom.
Logan Lester, Miss Texas USA 2018, emceed the event that opened with a moving video showcasing both organizations’ heartfelt service throughout the community. The live auction featured an all-inclusive “New York City Girl’s Weekend Getaway,” raising $9,000! Next, six outstanding volunteers were presented as the 2019 community models and included Perisha Burnham, Stacey Fontenot, Bobbi Jo Miller, Dr. Ty Tillman, Dr. Debbie Sukin and Amy Torres. Each model was applauded for her commitment their long-standing service throughout South Montgomery County.

The grand finale of the event was the Saks Fifth Avenue Fashion Show, directed by fan favorite and producer extraordinaire, Lenny Matuszewski, highlighting a wide variety of designs from the new spring line spanning everything from formal to leisure wear.

Interfaith of The Woodlands President and CEO, Missy Herndon, shared, “Our organizations are dedicated to serving and building our community. We stand here representing a combined 80 years of service to our community, millions of volunteer hours and thousands of lives impacted by the many programs, services, and leadership of great organizations.” Following the Fashion Show, the celebration continued at the new Como Club at the Westin for the always sold-out “After Party” sponsored by The Kink Team Luxe. The afternoon provided much-needed funds for both organizations with a message that “Giving is Glamorous!”

Interfaith of The Woodlands is a nonprofit social service agency celebrating its 45th year of providing numerous programs and services to meet the needs of The Woodlands community and surrounding area. For more information on Interfaith’s programs and services or to become a volunteer, please visit woodlandsinterfaith.org or call 281-367-1230.
The Junior League of The Woodlands is an organization of women committed to promoting volunteerism, developing the potential of women and improving communities through the effective action and leadership of trained volunteers. Its purpose is exclusively educational and charitable. For information on The Junior League of The Woodlands, please visit jlthewoodlands.org

 

Picture Perfect Bluebonnets

If you are a Texan whether native or newly relocated, you learn quickly that Texas bluebonnets are a must have a backdrop for photos of your family! Working as a professional photographer for over a decade I have seen many do’s, and don’ts when it comes to grabbing that perfect portrait for your kids during this popular Spring season.

Here are seven tips when planning your next Wildflower shoot.

1. TIMING – Bluebonnets typically bloom around late March. Though a word to the wise, I know you may be eager, however, I encourage you to resist the urge to photograph when you see the first blooms. In my experience, the best crops are most abundant towards the END of the wildflower season. I know it’s tempting, but hold off as long as possible when planning your picture time. It will be worth it when you grab a full field!

2. LOCATION– This one is critical, while the majestic hill country roads boast beautiful patches of flowers, avoid pulling over and attempting to take shots off of busy roads or highways. While we can thank our former first lady and native Texan Lady Bird Johnson for these bountiful roadside treasures, for the safety of your family scout a location that’s off the backroads and more secluded when possible. Not sure where to begin? Check out social media for local photography clubs or moms’ groups to share great spots that are safer than off a busy road. (Be aware – It is illegal to take photos on private property so be respectful of boundaries when searching)

3. WILDLIFE! – Most of our images we’re aiming for are our little ones. When I shoot professional photos in wildflower fields often, I ask my clients to wear rubber rain boots. It is very realistic to come across Texas wildlife such as snakes and fire ants while trekking through fields.

This sweet Mom ran to rescue my clients from ant bites.

4. PRESERVATION! This is my most important tip. Once you find your glorious field, be kind and allow those blossoms to stay alive by avoiding trampling, stomping, or sitting directly on top of the flowers. Very quickly you can position your child or family either on a stool (Bonus to avoid “wildlife from tip #3) or alongside the flowers. This is a courtesy to all of us who wish to enjoy these flowers through the spring season long!

5. LIGHTING – Bluebonnets are tricky when it comes to lighting. They can become over-saturated with the high sun, so avoid shooting mid-day. Early morning (before 10) and late afternoon (after 4) are the peak times when shooting.

WHAT’S NEXT?

Now that you have your location and shooting tips here are some handy tips on what to wear!

6. CLOTHING. I always suggest solids. Your eye will want to be drawn to the busiest pattern so let it focus on the backdrop of the flowers and your child’s face. Keep the outfits simple — coordinate outfits with soft solid colors.

7. PROPS – Stools and Boxes are great props to avoid crushing the flowers and to keep tiny bodies off the ground (see wildlife!) though keep the props to a minimum. Many a time I’ve seen a new mom or budding photographer lug multiple props, and accessories out to the field. Again, just like clothing, in my opinion, less is more and I just want to see the flowers and faces! (Keep in mind blankets flatten bluebonnets, try a wooden chair or old crate instead!)

I hope these tips will help you with making this Spring bluebonnet season a success! Remember you don’t need a fancy DSLR to shoot the perfect photo- a great location, happy kiddo, and a safe environment are all you need to make your memory picture perfect! Save the date for the Chappell Hill Bluebonnet Festival on April 13, 2019. 

 

Jen McDonald has worked as a photographer and graphic designer for over ten years. She lives locally in The Woodlands where she enjoys shooting her favorite subject, her ten-year-old son.

Community Models Take the Stage at 2019 Giving Goes Glam

Interfaith of The Woodlands and Junior League of The Woodlands are pleased to announce the highly anticipated Community Models for Giving Goes Glam 2019.

The 8thAnnual Fashion Show and Luncheon, presented by CHI St. Luke’s Health, will be held at The Woodlands Waterway Marriott Hotel and Convention Center on Friday, April 5, 2019.  Chaired by Nicole Murphy and Emily Wilcox, this event raises critical funds for community outreach efforts.

Perisha Burnham, Stacey Fontenot, and Bobbi Jo Miller will walk the runway representing Junior League of The Woodlands.  “Each model has deep ties within this community, working tirelessly to support our programs.  Because of these efforts, they were awarded as our 2018 outstanding active member, provisional member and sustaining member, respectively.  We are deeply grateful for their dedication to the Junior League,” commented Jennifer Colerick, Junior League of The Woodlands’ President.

Representing Interfaith of The Woodlands are Debbie Sukin, Ty Tillman and Amy Torres; each having volunteered for Interfaith in a variety of roles for many years.  “At the heart of Interfaith are our volunteers, and each of our models has shown a deep commitment to our mission of serving this community. Whether it be serving on our board, fundraising or volunteering for our programs, these women give selflessly time and time again.” shared Missy Herndon, Interfaith of The Woodlands’ President & CEO.

The event includes a New York-style runway show highlighting fashion provided by Saks Fifth Avenue, live entertainment, a chance to win a shopping spree at Market Street The Woodlands, and silent and live auctions.  The perfect combination of fashion, philanthropy, and friendship, Giving Goes Glam’s proceeds benefit the missions of both organizations, supporting programs and services for the South Montgomery County community.

For sponsorship opportunities or further event details, please visit givinggoesglam.org or contact Carolyn Donovan, Interfaith of the Woodlands’ Director of Development, at development@woodlandsinterfaith.org or 832-615-8225.

Interfaith of The Woodlands is a nonprofit social service agency celebrating its 45th year of providing numerous programs and services to meet the needs of The Woodlands community and surrounding area. For more information on Interfaith’s programs and services or to become a volunteer, please visit woodlandsinterfaith.org or call 281-367-1230.

The Junior League of The Woodlands is an organization of women committed to promoting volunteerism, developing the potential of women and improving communities through the effective action and leadership of trained volunteers. Its purpose is exclusively educational and charitable. For information on The Junior League of The Woodlands, please visit jlthewoodlands.org or call 281-376-5754.

Photography Courtesy: Mindy Harmon Photography

Top Row (l-r) Debbie Sukin, Missy Herndon, Perisha Burnham, Ty Tillman, Stacey Fontenot, Jennifer Colerick. Row 2 (l-r) Amy Torres, Emily Wilcox, Nicole Murphy, and Bobbi Jo Miller.