The Smile House – Photography by Laura Kay Wootan » Welcome to my photography blog where I share clients sessions and my life experiences on my little corner of the web.

Love Letters


Laura Wootan is an amazing artist. Three years ago, my husband Rick and I were looking for someone to professionally photograph our two children. A friend of ours told us about The Smile House, and after our first session with her we knew this was the place and Laura was the one. She has an indescribable talent for beautifully capturing memories on film. Laura’s creative eye allows her to compose moments in time, catch them with her camera, and the result is a remarkable piece of art. She works wonderfully with children, even timid ones like our two girls. Laura is able to produce laughter, smiles, and sweet gazes. She even has a talent for capturing a baby’s tears. Rick and I are so glad we found Laura. As quickly as time passes, we know we will have sweet memories of our children forever secured as seen through Laura’s lens.

Teri Brushaber

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When I took my daughter, Amanda, to the Smile House for her senior pictures, I knew they’d be beautiful. I mean, honestly, with Laura’s eye and Manda’s looks, how could they not be? The pictures are everywhere in my house. By the front door, by my bed, right here by my monitor at the office.

They’re beautiful, and I loved them.

*whispers*

But you know what?

When I took my middle-aged, not particularly beautiful self to Laura for head shots, I wasn’t expecting miracles. I was expecting to go… Oh. Okay. Cool.

*grins*

What I got was a picture I put on my books, on my promo material, on my facebook and twitter and ads. It’s the picture that I sent to the 20th reunion committee from high school that made people go, “Shawn! Oh my *god*! You look fabulous!” Yeah, that’s me. Fabulous at way-too-close-to-forty.

Thanks to Laura and the Smile House.

Shawn Anne Clements

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I’m always saddened when I hear my friends say that they’ve given up on family portraits because of the stress involved. With the right photographer having a family portrait taken doesn’t have to be a stressful event and can even be an enjoyable one. Even though we live in Florida we have Laura come out annually to take our family’s portraits. She is always easy going, fun and most importantly ALWAYS manages to truly capture each of our 4 children’s unique personalities. Family and friends always comment on the emotions that they see in her portraits. I think that is one of her (many) unique talents. The hardest part about a photo session with Laura is selecting your pictures at the end. If we lived closer I’d have Laura present for all of our family’s special occasions.

Karin Taylor

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We love the way The Smile House captures our family’s special moments, looks of wonder and silly grins, and gives them back to us to enjoy over and over again through the years. Those ain’t just some pretty words, Laura! We mean it!

Wendy Spriegel

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We began going to Laura when I was pregnant with my son, Reid. We went in to see her for the first time whenever I was about 7 months pregnant. I was really pretty clueless about what I wanted and approaching my 8th month of pregnancy I was doubting that there was any way we were going to make me look like those glamorous women I’d seen on her blog that looked so incredibly beautiful with their baby bumps. Well, she did it! Not only does she make you feel completely comfortable and at home in her studio, the product is to die for! We have returned to her to have newborn portraits done and then more of our little man. Most recently we had family pictures made and we were beyond pleased. It is so hard to find a photographer that not only does incredible work consistently, but to find one that brings such comfort with her everywhere she goes that you feel completely at ease and able to achieve exactly what you’re wanting. Plus things you love and you didn’t even know you loved! Her patience with children is very impressive, I would love to know how she does it! She has mastered the art of combining your style with her own and the end result is just breathtaking! Laura is and will always be our go to girl for great portraits. We are looking forward to seeing her as we are expecting again and will be in soon for more maternity portraits. I simply cannot say enough good things about her. If you’re looking for a professional, punctual, one-of-a-kind, artistic, creative, talented photographer,….. you’ve found her!

One of Laura’s many elated customers,

Mel Robertson

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Laura’s photography is AMAZING! I was a design and marketing major in college and quite a visual snob but Laura exceeded my hopes and expectations with our wedding photography by far. I loved the pictures, the album she created, and even getting to have her by my side for lots of our day. She was calm and personal as well as professional! I am thrilled to have met her when we did so that she can be our growing family’s memory keeper. Her talent, professionalism, and creativity are unmatched as far as we are concerned and hope she’ll still be around to be the photographer at our own daughter’s wedding one day!

Karen Craxton

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I have taken my son to the Smile House three times since he was one month old and I have been impressed every time. We have been made to feel very comfortable and not rushed. If Zaiden needed a break Laura was always accommodating and not pushy. The photographs are stunning! The quality of the work speaks for itself and I love the MANY compliments I receive on the photographs displayed at my home.

Melissa Sanchez

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Dear Laura,
Brian, Briella, and I would like to take this opportunity to express our thanks to you. When Brian and I first found out we were pregnant, we wanted to do as much as possible to document the exciting event! We wrote in journals, started a website, and prepared our home and hearts. At one of our prenatal visits, Brian and I were especially impressed with one of your photos hanging on the wall. It was a gorgeous maternity photo, unlike any I had ever seen. It was so beautiful and tasteful. We both agreed that we wanted to have maternity portraits made and contacted you.

On one hand, I couldn’t wait for that day, on the other, I was a little nervous. I wasn’t sure what to expect. And, like many women, I was a little apprehensive about how my pregnant form would look in a photo! I was immediately put at ease when we met you. You were so easy to work with – it was like my best friend was taking the photographs! After we left your studio, Brian and I both raved about the experience. We were so excited to see the final products. We were not disappointed. When we sat down to look at the slide show with you, we were both moved to tears!

About two months later, Briella made her entrance into the world. We made two appointments before we left the hospital – one with the pediatrician, and one with you!!! We just had to have newborn photos made. If I had to pick one session that impressed me the most, it was this one. Briella was literally less than a week old. Brian and I were new parents and she was, well, a newborn! She cried and needed to be nursed – a lot! I think we spent over three hours with you that day. It was so comforting that you never complained. You encouraged my choice to breastfeed and waited patiently for Briella to finish. I still laugh when I think about how her umbilical cord stump fell off during the photo session!

Since then, you have been a part of some major milestones for our family. You photographed Briella’s first Christmas and her first Birthday. We also had a great family session with you. Needless to say, we have a home filled with treasured memories captured through your art. You have helped to document our life together as a family – something that we consider truly priceless.

We have and will continue to recommend you to family, friends, and strangers alike as we have been nothing but impressed with all you do. We look forward to seeing you soon for Briella’s 2nd birthday…and many more!

Much love,
The Cornwells

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Our family chose Laura because she is the best in San Marcos. Every step was a comfortable experience, from the consult to the final viewing. To describe the way she captured us is pointless because no words do her work justice. The true testimonial is in our photos. EVERY person who has seen them has complimented us and said whatever you spent, it was worth every penny. I couldn’t agree more!

PS: I wish we had discovered Laura before we got married. I’ve joked with my husband that I would like to “re-marry” just so she can take our wedding pictures:)

Suzanne Putegnat

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Laura is such a wonderful photographer, I first contacted her about shooting some photos of our patients at CTMC Hospice Care for our Faces of Hospice exhibit. Laura graciously donated her time and resources to make wishes come true for our patients. Families have commented about how grateful they are to have a photo of their loved one that celebrates their life. Thank you Laura and The Smile House!

Alicia Taylor, LMSW
CTMC Hospice Care

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Laura,
I just wanted to take this opportunity to let you know how much I treasure all of the beautiful photos you have taken of Catarina and Angelina, as well as of our family. You have captured so many precious memories that I will treasure forever…from Catarina’s “naked butt” session to my maternity session when I was pregnant with Angelina. You are not only a great photographer, but a great artist! One only has to look at the photographs to know that you take your work very seriously and only produce quality work. We get so many compliments from friends and family who have seen the photos!

I especially want to thank you for your patience and flexibility. You always have such a great attitude toward all of the photo sessions and your patience never wears thin. Thank you so much for creating such beautiful and artistic images of our family! These are memories that will be shared for years to come.

XO,
Andrea Vázquez

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I was pregnant with my first baby when a clerk at my ENT’s office showed me some photos of her kids that a local photographer had made for her. They were really good. She told me the photographer liked working with kids and got great results all the time. Now I am the mom who frequently recommends The Smile House to my friends or anyone who inquires about my Christmas cards or portraits of my boys.

We have had many sessions in the studio with Laura starting when our oldest was a little baby almost 5 years ago. I even went there when I decided to have some portraits taken just before baby #2 arrived. I trusted Laura to turn my then large uncomfortably cumbersome belly into a thing of beauty worth putting on display and she worked wonders producing a series of portraits that were almost impossible to choose a few from among them.

I especially like the way Laura works with my boys to get their cooperation and capture expressions that I always miss. Her patience with them is remarkable and greatly appreciated. Then when it comes time to order, I appreciate Laura’s patience with me. I have come to trust and rely on her artistic attention to detail and her recommendations to produce portraits and Christmas cards that are better than ay I could have imagined.

Thanks Laura, for all your hard work!

Laurel Pawelek

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We have been impressed with Laura’s love of people and all things family. As a mom herself, Laura knows just how to work with children and their parents to get the most perfect and creative results on film. As ad agency executives in our past lives, we’ve worked with many photographers, and Laura’s work can go head to head with the best of them. All our friends in Dallas have been amazed that we found such talent near our small town in the Hill Country. We look forward to many years of shared memories – thanks to The Smile House.

Susan & David Howard

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I found The Smile House when a friend showed me her pregnancy photos from The Smile House. I was blown away at the beauty, professionalism, and class of each composition. That was over three years ago. Since that time, I’ve had two sessions with Laura. Once with me and my son, and the second with my fiance. She’s even recruited my fiance to take pictures with her puppy! Next, will be with our entire “Brady bunch”! Every time someone walks into my house or views our slideshows, I get compliments about how beautiful my portraits are and questions about the photographer. I always refer them to The Smile House blog to check out all her stuff. Laura has not only become the only photographer I trust to do any photos I want, but she’s become a great friend in the process.

Michelle Methvin

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We first discovered The SmileHouse several years ago when we received a beautiful Christmas card in the mail. The card was designed by the SmileHouse and we thought it was so creative and unique because unlike other photocards, these cards included several photos of the family/children in various settings. One look at these cards and we were hooked. The next year we began our tradition of Christmas cards designed by the SmileHouse. From the moment we met Laura Wootan we could tell she was a very experienced and talented photographer. Two things stood out immediately. First, she talked to us about our “vision” for the photos. She asked questions like what kind of setting we wanted and what clothes we would wear. After we came to an agreement and we were confident she knew what we wanted, we took the photos. Secondly, Laura was extremely patient. Never getting frustrated when our children were not cooperating. She’d simply say it’s okay and if necessary she would allow us to reschedule when our children were more cooperative. Once the pictures were taken we scheduled a follow up appointment to view our photos and make some buying decisions. For every follow up appointment Laura has been very well prepared with a beautiful slideshow of our photos. If it was Christmas time she prepared these beautiful holiday cards with our photos. One look at these cards and you’re hooked. It’s near impossible to say no! We have thoroughly enjoyed being a client of the SmileHouse and we’re proud to say that Laura Wootan is our official family photographer. We won’t use anyone else!

Elaine Candelas

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Laura,

I want you to know that I first saw your amazing work on a holiday card of one of my daycare children , I was so drawn to that child’s face. You had captured the child’s personality in this single pose. I was totally mesmerized with the photo. I knew you were the photographer for my family’s first ever family portraits. ( Yes, we had been married at that time for 15 years and are oldest was 17, sad but very true.) My husband and I were so impressed with your professionalism you showed our family.( And we both know how hard it was for me to take one good pictures , yet you did. lol.) We could see that this was a passion not a just a profession! We sometimes check out your blog and my husband and I both are just blown away with your wok! Your amazing and I wish you all the best with your great talent! My family loves your blogs so keep them coming. We have finally after two years, have our pictures framed and on the wall, they look great! Truly greatful for your art,

Linda Burt

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