KATY MAGAZINE NEWS
August 7, 2018
A young Katy couple had no idea just how much people would love their photos at Texas's most popular gas station. Once the album hit social media, true-blue Texans everywhere absolutely flipped!
Local photographer Kristina Ohl-Boyd, owner of Hello Darlin Photography, has worked with Katy couple Brooks Taylor and Trevor Waters before. "They are a really fun, flirty couple to shoot, so I knew that they would be willing to try and out-of-the-box idea like this," says Ohl-Boyd.
Saturday began with a planned shoot in Galveston when Boyd mentioned the idea of taking some original photos in a gas station. They went to several convenience stores in the area, but were not granted permission to take pictures. "Every gas station we went to turned us down, saying that the shoot would be an insurance liability," she says. Frustrated but determined to make her idea come to life, Kristina asked the couple if they would be willing to try again on Sunday, this time at the Buc-ee's station in Katy. Brooks and Trevor both graduated from Katy Taylor High School, Brooks in 2017 and Trevor in 2018, and live in the area, so it was easy to plan.
A CREATIVE TWIST
"When Kristina mentioned Buc-ee's, Trevor and I were both super excited. Buc-ee's is a uniquely Texan treasure, so we knew it would be the perfect place to take photos," says Taylor.
The 5,000 square-foot, immensely popular gas station chain, known for it's immaculate restrooms, Beaver swag and kitschy apparel, awesome hot food and road trip -ready snacks opened a Katy location last year. As anyone from Texas will tell you, if you are on the road in Texas, you have to stop at Buc-ee's.
"The setting was perfect because both Brooks and Trevor are Buc-ee's veterans, and it was a great way to celebrate something that Texans are really proud to call their own," says Ohl-Boyd.
BEAVER BACK UP
When they arrived, they weren't quite sure what reaction to expect from management, staff, and other patrons when they began taking photos. "When we went in, I told them both that we were just going to start shooting, and wait to see if we got any push back from management," she says. But the reaction was, in fact, the complete opposite. Buc-ee's staff immediately jumped in to help make the shoot a success. Trevor, who was a little nervous when he arrived, instantly felt relaxed and comfortable.
"The environment was really fun, and employees were running around making sure everything was clean, keeping other customers out of the frame so we could take photos, and just helping out as much as they could," he says. The helpfulness of the staff and the positive energy in the store yielded some adorable memories for both Trevor and Brooks. "It was an amazing day to share with someone I love," he says. The shoot took about 90 minutes and includes photos from all over the store, including the red pick up truck loaded with plush Buc-ee the Beaver dolls.
"They let us jump in that truck and just go crazy getting as many great shots as we could. It was amazing," says Ohl-Boyd. Even the other patrons joined in on the fun as they passed by, snapping photos for social media and praising the photographer and the couple on the creative idea.
The full album was posted on Hello Darlin's Facebook page on August 5 at around 8 p.m., and so far has close to 700 shares. "I told Brooks and Trevor when we were leaving the store that this is the kind of photo shoot that goes viral. Texans love their Buc-ee's," she says. To her, the Buc-ee's shoot represents so much about the heart of Texas culture and the pride that runs deep here. "What these photos really show is that you can have fun and make memories anywhere," she says.
Indeed they do. Hello Darlin Photography has already received several requests for similar shoots at the Katy location, and Ohl-Boyd is on board, with a few simple conditions. "Buc-ee's can call me back with a lifetime supply of kolaches and Beaver nuggets and we'll call it even, " she jokes.
As for Brooks and Trevor, they can definitely imagine future shoots at Buc-ee's. They will both attend Lone Star College - Cy-Fair this fall, and Brooks is currently working at Shell Corporation through an internship she landed her senior year in high school. "We would love to come back at different points in our life and make this a tradition," says Brooks.
BROOKS & TREVOR'S BUC-EE'S SHOOT
(Photos by Hello Darlin Photography)
If you're new to Texas and haven't experienced Buc-ee's yet, stop by the Katy location at 27700 Katy Fwy near Cane Island.