Francois Photography bio picture
  • Welcome to my blog!

    That's me, Kim Francois, on the left and this is my canine friend ChiliPepper aka: Chili, Chili Dog, ChiChi, Pepper. Chili does not bite, seldom barks, never begs and loves to hang out with me all day while I work my photography.

    I am a wedding and portrait photographer. I specialize in life style photography combining your personality with positive fashion statements. I like to have fun and I strive to provide a fun and rewarding photographic experience.

    My blog is not just a place for me to post pretty pictures - although I probably will. I promise to include the skinny on what makes each post interesting. Every session is unique and comes with its own challenges and personalities. I plan to offer my readers insight into those special attributes.

Lauren & Jeremy Married – Austin Country Club

You don’t get to pick the weather for your wedding.

On the coldest day so far this winter, Lauren and Jeremy got married. The temperature hovered around freezing and the wind howled with enthusiasm. This adorable couple went about getting married without giving this meteoric ambush a thought.  They wanted to pose for pictures at the 360 Bridge at sunset – so we did. It was cold but they never let on and the pictures do not reflect their torment. I will admit my assistant and I had frozen fingers but we managed.

Lauren and Jeremy decided in advance that on their wedding day, they did not want to see each other prior to the ceremony. However, they did want a brief encounter. We set up a “No Peeking” session where they each stood on opposite sides of a column and were able to touch each other without visual contact. It lasted only a few moments but provided the assurance needed to get them to the ceremony on a high.

The entire night was lovely with elegant table linens and flowers provided by Stems, dramatic up lighting on the walls and music provided by the talented DJ –  Josh Wilkinson with Penguin Entertainment, Inc. I especially liked how they customized a wedding theme graphic and utilized that consistent design element on all the wedding deliverables: invite, guest book, “Tips For Wedded Bliss” coasters, event program, menu sign, “Just Married” sign, and my favorite – “Ask About Our Signature Drink” sign.

And they danced… all night. Lauren dances for a living. Jeremy admitted he was not all that coordinated on the dance floor but he focused on sharing her passion and having fun. Turns out Jeremy really does have some good moves.

Congrats Lauren and Jeremy Holley – Happy Holleydays to you!

Key Players:
Venue: Austin Country Club
Photographer: Kim Francois, Francois Photography
Assistant Photographer: Cat Mattingly
Event Planner: Sydney Campbell, Olive & Belle
Linen Rentals & Flowers: Stems & Verbena
Musicians: Terra Vista Strings
DJ: Josh Wilkinson, Penguin Entertainment Inc.
Officiant: Al Krummenacher
Hair/Make up: Kelsey Davies, Shirley Cox
Bakery: Iced Cakes & Confections

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Elizabeth & Mark Married – St. John Neumann Catholic Church/Omni Barton Creek Resort

This elegant wedding began early in the morning with getting ready festivities at the Omni Barton Creek Resort. The bride (Liz), her five bridesmaids and mother, dressed in robes embroidered with their wedding party status, gathered for hair and make up which was artistically performed by Aimee, Cris Coleman and team.  Liz wore a romantic gown adorned with lace and tulle named Elysia designed by Hayley Paige. Liz made sure “HER MEN” were gifted special wedding day attire too. She presented her father with “I’ll always be your little girl – Nov 5, 2016” cuff links and Mark received some fancy french cuff links too.

Consistent with their flare for romance, Liz and Mark wanted to exchange love letters in person but were adamant that they did not see each other before the ceremony. So we arranged a “NO PEEKING” photo session in the resort hallway. They were separated by a wall partition and were able to touch hands and pass their letters to each other without visual confirmation. This happened with a full audience of friends and family 5 feet away, across the hallway, swooning and weeping with sentiment.  It was very touching. And a great photo opp.

Next we headed to St. John Neumann Catholic Church for a full mass at 2:00 in the afternoon. The church finally completed a mosaic dome above the alter in September and it was breath taking – as was the ceremony. After the ceremony, the bride/groom traveled in a convertible Rolls Royce back to the Omni Barton Creek Pavilion for the reception with 225 close friends and family.

The Pavilion was decked out with fabulous white flower arrangements by Westbank Flower Market and the bride/grooms’ own personal monogram (E&M) was projected on the stone wall above the fireplace. The pavilion rocked with music provided by Love & Happiness. Since Mark comes from New Orleans, they arranged a traditional wedding “Second Line” dance where guests twirl white handkerchiefs or napkins in the air and paraded with umbrellas around the room to a festive jazz song.

And what wedding would be complete without a trip to the State Capital for a kiss in front of the Austin icon. Sandy Perkins, their wedding planner, arranged to have a special flag, (which was presented to them later) flown at the capital for just that picture. However, when we got to the capital we found that all of the roads around the Capital were blocked for the Texas Book Festival. So we moved to plan B – The Bob Bullock Museum. If you stand in front of the museum, you are down hill from the Capital (and flag). So we jumped out of our cars, posed them in the middle of the street and … A police officer drove up and told us we could not do what we were doing and would have to leave. When he realized how much we wanted this picture – massive pleading, he pulled over to supervise and make sure we did not get run down. He gave us 5 minutes. We were done in 2. I did not get his name but – thank you officer.
And thank you Liz and Mark for being so much fun to work with. Congratulations to your on your beautiful wedding.

Key Players:
Church: St. John Neumann Catholic Church
Reception Venue: Omni Barton Creek Pavilion
Wedding Planner: Sandy Perkins
Photographer: Kim Francois, Francois Photography
Photographer Assistant: Cat Mattingly
Gown Designer: Hayley Paige
Entertainment: Love & Happiness
Make up: Aimee and Cris Coleman
Hair Stylists: Cris Coleman
Florists: Keith @ Westbank Flower Market
Bakery: Omni Barton Creek

Princess Bride – Lake Travis Estate

There once was a Princess… and her name was Elizabeth.
At least,  that is how Liz looked to me when we photographed her bridal session at a fairy tail estate on Lake Travis. Liz wore an elegant contour dress designed by Hayley Paige which featured a lace corset bodice, long lace sleeves and a cascading tulle skirt with thin double horsehair edging.

Her bridal session was photographed at a 9760 square foot, Venetian style estate idyllically situated on 16 acres of land embracing Lake Travis – Austin, Texas. It was the perfect location to compliment this most elegant bride.

Key Players:
Photographer: Kim Francois, Francois Photography
Staging Assistant: Heather Trungale
Wedding Event Planner:  Sandy Perkins
Venue: The Fabbio Estate on Lake Travis
Gown: Elysia by Hayley Paige
Flowers: Westlake Flower Market
Hair Stylist: Aimee and Cris Coleman

Larissa & Allen Married – Sailboat Wedding

Larissa and Allan have been together for four years – a second marriage for both of them. They wanted their wedding to be a small, intimate gathering of the family and friends that believed in them, loved them and encouraged their union. And… they wanted to be married on a SAILBOAT while their guests watched from a BALCONY at the Lakeway Resort  – 50 feet above Lake Travis. Naturally, this was a wedding I wanted to photograph. Everything about it was special. Even the invitation set the tone for this unique happening. Guests were encouraged to “Dress to Impress” in navy and white.

So it was just me – the photographer, a captain, the bride/groom, an officiant, and two witnesses on the sailboat. The weather was perfect and we all got a little sunburned. The guests watched and listened to the vows via a cell phone. To ensure I was able to photograph the sailboat from a distance, they even arranged to have the groom’s son shuttle me in a motor boat while we went from the dock to the ceremonial site. After the 15 minute ceremony, we sailed back to the dock and joined the guests for cake and champagne on the “Back Porch” of the resort.

A perfect day, perfect wedding for a perfect couple.

Key Players:
Photographer: Kim Francois – Francois Photography
Venue: Sarah Wilson – Lakeway Resort & Spa
Sailboat Rental: Texas Sailing
Florist: Magpie Florist
Bakery: Sweet & Salty

 

 

 

Take your wedding photographer to your dress fitting! – Make it a trial run verses a bridal portrait.

Maybe you don’t want a bridal session because it just isn’t your “thang”.  Many brides don’t.
Bridal sessions seem to be a southern tradition and a foreign concept to many northerners. Regardless, let’s assume you still want to have a test run on your make-up, hair, shoes, veil, undergarments and dress.  And, you want to be able to share this advance viewing with your bridesmaids and family members to solicit their thoughts on your wedding creation.  A very reasonable concept indeed.  Why not take your wedding photographer to your dress fitting?

Lauren is getting married in December. Her dress was not ready yet but she knew her bridal salon (Serendipity) had the same dress in a larger size for her to try on. As every bride does, she collected pictures of hair styles that she felt would flatter her face, work best with her special head piece and compliment the style of her dress. Now for the real test. She has to find a hair stylist that can accomplish that special up-do, a make-up artist to enhance her natural features and then see how it looks with her dress. Next step, turn her wedding photographer (ME) loose to capture her every angle and provide quality images to review and analyze at home.

This session provides the photographer a chance to build a relationship with the bride, discover best angles and explore her personality nuances. The bride will learn a lot too, ie: she might find that she needs to spend time tanning without straps OR her artificial tanning product leaves her looking sickly yellow OR maybe her glittery eye shadow comes off pixalated in pictures.  All good things to know in advance.

So take your wedding photographer to the dress fitting and study those images to perfect your ultimate look and enhance your confidence for your wedding day.

Key Vendors:
Photographer: Kim Francois, Francois Photography
Bridal Salon: Serendipity Bridal – West Anderson Lane, Austin

Liz & Mark Are Getting Married – Austin Texas

Yes, it is true! Liz Sikora and Mark Seither are getting married. I will be photographing their wedding on November 5, 2016.

The couple wanted an engagement session and one special picture for a “Save the Date” notice. Liz has a bestie friend who has this amazing home in Westlake with a two acre back yard that is somewhere between Versailles and Zilker Botanical Garden complete with sculptured hedges, rose gardens, a giant chess set patio, fountains, benches, arbors, statuary and a lavender wall. So we spent two hours late one afternoon and walked the grounds shooting in this paradise. Oh, I almost forgot the best part. They included their dog, Tuxedo – who was a natural in front of the camera. This was so much fun. I can’t wait to photograph this beautiful couple at their wedding.

Photography by Kim Francois

“WOMEN IN DESIGN” – Austin Country Club Spring Fashion Show

The “WOMEN IN DESIGN” Fashion Show presented by Austin Country Club’s Women’s Association featured three Austin fashion designers with their spring collections of couture and ready to wear clothing.

I have produced/directed the fall and spring fashion shows at ACC for the past three years. This time I decided to try something a little different. The President of the Women’s Association, Beverly Newsom, established a theme for this year’s luncheons that would focus on successful women in their various roles in life. I totally embrace that concept and wanted to integrate it into the fashion show.  Instead of partnering with the typical retail clothing establishments as we had done in the past, I researched and found three of the most successful female fashion show designers in Austin. Paola Moore of Rare Trends, Csilla Somogyi and Linda Asaf.

These ladies have very diverse backgrounds and come from different parts of the world. They are inspired by different facets of design. And, I found it very interesting that they use different sale and marketing strategies to implement their very unique business models.  The one consistent thing I found these ladies have in common is their passion for fashion and their ability to make jaw dropping clothing.       Here are some of the looks on the runway from this show.

KEY CONTRIBUTORS: Thank you for all your hard work to make this happen!

Event Venue: Austin Country Club – Lindsay Satterfield
Show Producer/Director: Kim Francois
Production Staff: Auddie Walker, Tracey Springer, Colleen Lynch, Gwen Davidson
Fashion Designers:
–  Paola Moore with Rare Trends – Caroline Gray Presenting
–  Csilla Somogyi
–  Linda Asaf Design with Mary Kay Samouce Jewelry
Photography: Cat Mattingly
Videography: Kim Roper
Staging: Century Music Systems, Inc. – Tommy Achilles
Hair & Make-Up: Naava Salon and Spa
Hair Stylists: Jamie, Mikel, Samantha, Heather, Candis, Pamela
Make-Up Artists: Micah, Samantha, Jamie
Hair & Make-Up Site Coordination: Debra Adkins
Back Stage Hands: Chloe Francois, Andrea Langer
Fashion Show Committee: Andrea Langer, Tracey Springer, Linda Swainson, Caprice Fredericksen, Debra Adkins, Colleen Lynch, Gwen Davidson
Models: Betsy Hicks, Auddie Walker, Suzanne Pfeiffer, Stephanie Land, Colleen Lockwood, Stefanie Russell, Jen Berger, Heather Trungale, Christy May, Kathy Murphy, Lauren Springer, Stacie Cockrell, Sheri Gallo, Christa Jeffers, Kristy Knippa, Lauren Dyck, Amber Alcedo, Emily Galatzan, Marcus Roper, Caroline Gray, Csilla Somogyi, Nalisse Somogyi, Linda Asaf
Narrator: “Meet The Designers” – Beverly Newsom
Event Promotion: Marisa Bushee
Decorations: Gwen Davidson, Janet Mahler
Hospitality Management: Debbie Novelli, Wendy Fischer
Music Selection: Kim Francois, Gunnar Bjork, Merritt Bjork
Valet Parking: Central Texas Valet – Cory Evers
Event Menu/Program Design: Kim Francois

Silicon Cowboys – The COMPAQ Story in Film

Thirty years ago, I joined a small start up company located in a bank building in Houston, Texas. I had no idea that it would become the fastest growing company in American business history.

Before it was called COMPAQ, it was temporarily named Gateway. I was working as a Manufacturing Representative selling electronic components to high tech manufacturing companies. Apple and IBM had recently launched the Personal Computer market. Retail chains like Computerland, ComputerCraft and BusinessLand were starting to pop up everywhere to support this new industry. The company I was working for, MicroSystems, decided to get on board and created a line of components and accessories to sell to these retail stores. One of these store owners introduced me to Bill Murto, VP of Marketing for Gateway. I soon became employee #41.

The COMPAQ story is well known. Launched in 1982 by three friends in a Houston diner, COMPAQ set out to build a portable PC to take on IBM, the world’s most powerful tech company. Many had tried cloning the industry leader’s code, only to be trounced by IBM and its high-priced lawyers. This documentary, SILICON COWBOYS, explores the remarkable David vs. Goliath story, and eventual demise, of COMPAQ, an unlikely upstart who altered the future of computing and helped shape the world as we know it today. Directed by Oscar®-nominated director Jason Cohen, the film offers a fresh look at the explosive rise of the 1980’s PC industry and is a refreshing alternative to the familiar narratives of Jobs, Gates, and Zuckerberg.

Rod Canion, one of the three founders and the original President calls the documentary a reflective view of the PC industry. He said: “ You will be amazed by the movie Jason Cohen has created from a bunch of interviews and news clips. He tells the story in a way that views more like a movie drama than a documentary, including the ups and downs that go along with real world success. He includes perspectives from people inside the IBM PC group, the IBM patent group, as well as analysts and reporters. The result is a gripping drama that almost anyone should find interesting and enjoyable.”

I am so proud to have been apart of this incredible story and very excited to be able to re-live the excitement 30 years later on the big screen. AND, did I mention I am in the documentary???
I am one of the people interviewed for my role in the early start up along with my boss Ken Price.

I invite my friends to come experience this story during SXSW. Seats at theaters are available to SXSW tickets holders first then open to the public.

Premier Showing Dates/Times:

Friday, March 11
5:15 – 6:33 PM
Alamo Lamar A – 1120 South Lamar Blvd

Saturday, March 12
2:15 – 3:33 PM
Satellite Venue: Alamo Slaughter

Monday, March 14
12:00 – 1:18 PM
Satellite Venue: Marchesa

Tuesday, March 15
5:00 – 6:18 PM
Alamo Lamar D

Cassie & Paden’s Holiday Wedding – The Commodore Perry Estate

This fairy tale wedding is so romantic and full of personal touches that it is the perfect inspiration for the ambitious bride. DIY on steroids.
The bride, Cassie Gallo is the daughter of my dear friend Sheri Gallo, the District 10 City Council Representative in Austin.  In addition to being drop dead beautiful, Cassie is also a College Football & Hoops Reporter for cbssportsnet.  Due to her extensive work commitments, she decided to schedule her wedding after football season  – which pretty much dictated a December wedding. Here is the cool part – no pun intended. She was able to host her wedding in a historic family home – The Commodore Perry Estate located in the heart of Austin, Texas. Built in 1928 by her great, great grandfather Commodore Edgar Howard Perry,  this recently renovated mansion was the ideal venue for her to gather family and friends to celebrate her new life with Paden. In attendance were 11 Bridesmaids, 3 Junior Bridesmaids, 3 Flower Girls, 1 House Party attendant, 1 Ring Bearer, 12 Groomsmen, 2 Ushers and 250+ guests.

Cassie had a specific look and feel she wanted to achieve for her wedding – vintage/rustic chic. Cassie did most of the planning herself but recruited coordination help from Yellow Umbrella Events, tables and chairs from Premiere Events, catering from Hoover’s Cooking, lighting from industry juggernaut Ilios, cakes by the groom’s sister and friends and family chipped in to help with the decorations. This is where it gets amazing… Cassie brought in dozens of miniature Norfolk Pine trees to accent the outside of the venue. A fully decorated Christmas tree was positioned to greet guests in the foyer. She continued the outdoor rustic theme on the tables which were decorated with 2″ wide round wood chips individually cut by her brother and step father to provided the base for vintage glass lanterns. Each table had lace runners, antique glass vases, candle votives and lanterns that Cassie, her Mother and Grandmother purchased from the Settlement Home for Children’s annual garage sale. The deer antlers scattered on each table were donated by the hunters in the family. Cassie purchased and hand tied hankies with ribbons and positioned them at the ceremony. She called them “Hankies for Happy Tears.” She knew it would be cold in December so she arranged to have Pashmina scarfs in a basket to keep her bridesmaids and her female guests warm along with a “Baby It’s Cold Outside” hot chocolate bar. Her guest sign in table featured wooden chips that each guest signed and placed in a picture frame making an artful keepsake for the bride/groom. The venue had limited electrical power and virtually no outdoor lighting so Cassie employed Ilios to string lights in the trees, project a C & P monogram on the wall behind the band, provide dramatic up lights on the walls around the dance floor and project a polka dot light pattern on the outside of the reception chapel.

On top of all that, she had a jello shot bar, confetti sticks for the dance floor and the coolest band, the Nightowls, to ensure her guests had a great time. And to thank her guests for attending, she gave each of them a hand picked commemorative Christmas ornament as a party favor. Whew. It’s exhausting just trying to tell you all about this jaw dropping, detail orientated, extraordinary event.

Congratulations Cassie and Paden on a successful event and beautiful wedding!!!!!

 

Key Vendors:
Venue: The Commodore Perry Estate
Photographer: Kim Francois, Francois Photography
Assistant Photographer: Cat Mattingly
Event Planner: Yellow Umbrella Events
Band: NightOwls
Hair & Make Up: Gloss Hair and Make Up Salon
Catering Service: Hoover’s Cooking
Lighting: Ilios Lighting
Cake Baker: KimberStone
Valet Parking: Texas Premier Parking
Limo Service: Four Leaf Limo
Tables/Chairs: Premiere Events
Florist: Central Market
Guitarist: Doug Anthony Guitarist

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