Way back in November I was asked to shoot a charity event for The Pink Chair Salon in Mabank, Texas. Starla Stone, the owner of The Pink Chair, was hosting Small Business Saturday featuring Kellie Raspberry Evans and Allen Evans podcast, A Sandwich & Some Lovin', live from her salon. Not only that, but she had also organized a Swap Party to coincide with it.
First of all, I'm going to be real honest and tell you that I agreed to the event not knowing who Kellie and Allen were. It didn't take long before photographer friends of mine were swooning over the fact that they didn't jump on the opportunity. My dearest friend, Somer's exact words when I told her I was going to shoot the event was, "Shut up!" If you ever listened to Kidd Kraddick on the radio, then you no doubt know who Kellie is. Since I didn't know and it made it that much easier for me to be cool photographing them interacting with fans at the salon.
Second, I had never met Starla before. We had corresponded quite a bit up until that day and even now I'm preparing to meet her again for a Branding Session. We hit it off. She's such a kind soul. So laid back and easy going that I enjoyed watching her mingle with everyone that had shown up to support her efforts. She put a lot of hours in, no doubt, to pull off an all-day event like this.
Initially, Kellie and Allen took selfies with their fans. That was a treat for everyone as the images were sent to them that day. Mabank Panthers Cheer Squad came to do a cheer for them in front of the salon. Kellie was given the key to the city and Mayor Jeff Norman gave Allen a tee shirt and ball cap labeled "Mayor of Mabank" and stating that he was Mayor for the day.
Afterward, Kellie and Allen started their live recording in the salon. This was where my four years of shooting wedding ceremonies came in handy. I was stealthy and tried not to bother them while I walked around photographing. Allen later reassured me that there's usually a pet underfoot when they record, so I was no bother.
Some of the fans had written out questions they'd like answered and put them in a hat. If their question was drawn, they got to sit at the table with Kellie and Allen while they read the question and answered it live. The city had connected the audio to play in the street out front, so everyone was able to hear it as it was recorded.
When the podcast was complete everyone went across the way to where food trucks were ready to serve their menus. An open pavilion provided shade for the community Swap Party. If you've never had the chance to attend a swap party, you're missing out. I've hosted a few myself. Everyone was asked to bring items that were in gently used or new condition. For every item they brought, they received a ticket. Generous business people in town had donated an entire table full of gifts to be given as prizes to the ticket holders. There were several tables of items from a Hula dancer car ornament that Allen snagged to a crockpot that Kellie brought. The remaining items were donated to charity. Everyone won.
The day was a fun memory for me. I'm thankful that I was able to help Starla have candid and posed images alike to look back on and remember how neat it was to have planned out a successful Small Business Saturday for Mabank. Do you have an event coming up? I'd love to be a part of your next event. Reach out and let's see if I've got that dateavailablee.