Orange Show Gala brings sparkles, costumes + jazz to 2011!

The Orange Show Gala 2011 by Ed Schipul

We love working with all of our clients (seriously, they are amazing), but few clients can throw a costume and glitter festival like The Orange Show.  Check out some of our photos (taken by Ed Schipul and Derek Key) from their 30th Anniversary Orange Show Gala  and tag yourself on the Orange Show Facebook page if you see yourself!

The Orange Show Gala 2011 crowd

Happy faces at the Orange Show Gala 2011

Welcome to the Orange Show Gala 2011

Dancing at The Orange Show Gala 2011

Great friends at the Orange Show Gala 2011


Learn more about The Orange Show (one of Houston’s art and creative treasures) on their website and be sure to connect on Facebook to attend their next awesome event!

Doing Good for March Madness

UPDATE: Congrats to JMO on reigning victorious over the March Madness magic.   We donated $500 to the American Red Cross for Japan relief efforts in his honor.

Today is the start of March Madness. In the world of Schipul, it’s my general duty to manage the office pool. As the Twittersphere started warming up for March Madness, I came across this tweet from a former Schipulite:

I pasted it, and sent it to Ed. The subject, Dear Ed, the body, Just sayin’ ;). He liked the idea, but not the reward. Instead, the Schipulites will be putting their brackets on the line for the opportunity to donate $500 to the relief effort in Japan. (and an Apple gift card, natch!)

The Final Four is kinda special for me this year, as my hometown is playing host. I’m excited that my picks this year may do more good than ever before. Good luck to all, wherever and however you play. However, if you do win a big office pool, do consider donating some, if not all, of it back to Japan.

Do what you do, do it well, and don’t stop till it’s done

Photo by Ed Schipul

The people that I’ve always respected and admired  in my life  are people that have worked hard for their success. I believe that anyone can be  successful at something if they work hard enough to get there.  My underlying value system has me programmed to work as hard as I can to achieve what I want in life. If I’m not successful, it only means that I’m not done yet.

One of the people that exemplifies the characteristics that I admire is Will Smith. In this compilation video, he talks about his belief system and how that system  got him to where he is in his life.

I don’t aspire to be like Will Smith, but I do identify with a lot of the things that he says. Except the part about the treadmill (2:35 minutes in); he can have that.

I can never claim to be the hardest working person (in show business;   hit me!) but I know that once you choose to do or choose to be, you’re half way there.  

Life is too short to not  commit  so get out there and get it done.

Don’t Knock It Until You’ve Tried It

Sadly a lot of people will say they don’t like something even though they’ve never tried it.

People will say “I don’t like that…” whether it’s a sport, traveling, a new beer, or even a whole country of people they’ve never met. I can honestly say that I used to be this way too. I have found that by being close minded to new and possibly better things, you miss out on a whole lot of awesome.

Growing up, I used to eat my steaks Well Done because that is how my parents would order them and really, I didn’t know any better. If in early high school and you were to present me with a steak that was Medium or God forbid, Medium-Rare I would of rejected it. It wasn’t until I was in a situation where I had to be polite when offered a Medium-Rare steak that I found what I had been missing for so long. I then took the mindset of “Don’t Knock It Until You’ve Tried It” and applied that to food in general. I have come to find and love many more culinary delights since then and I can trace my culinary “open-mindedness” back to that one experience. Heck, if it turns out that you don’t like something… you never have to eat it again.

Medium Rare Steak
Photo by:

This same concept can be applied to your views on people that are different from you. Whether it’s  their  religion, ethnicity, sexual preference, financial bracket, political preference or whatever else one can  conjure  up to divide us. If you don’t know someone who is White, Brown, Black, Green, Purple, Straight, Gay, Muslim, Christian, Canadian, American, Protestant, Catholic or whatever else, then it doesn’t seem fair to come to a conclusion when in fact you don’t know.

Don’t be afraid of the “Medium-Rare” because you might just like it.

Schipul Geek’s Guide to Summer Vacation Success

Photo thanks to jaeWALK

Greetings from Schipul-Land!   As our Schipul crew prepares for another hot Houston summer, our minds wander to our favorite vacation spots, travel tools, preparation tips and out-of-town safety tidbits.

We may not be lounging on a beach or flying high in a plane over foreign lands today, but our entire team has some great ideas on how to make your summer travel experiences safe, fun and memorable – one geeky post at a time.   Join us for this month’s:   Schipul Geek’s Guide to Summer Vacation Success!

Schipul Book Club giveaway!

Lonely Planet books

To kick off this vacationing Blog posting party, we have a fun Schipul Book Club giveaway for June.

Leave us a comment telling us about your dream vacation spot (whether you’ve been there yet or not) and on Friday, June 18th 12pm CST we’ll pick one lucky commenter to select a Lonely Planet Country Guide book of their choice!

Thirty Days of Thanks – YOU!


This month, the Schipul crew has taken a look at some of the things we are thankful for with our 30 Days of Thanks series – and boy did we get a WIDE variety!!  At the end of a month dedicated to introspection and family, we are left feeling more blessed than ever.

Our final shout out for our 30 Days of Thanks is to YOU! Whether you are a client, a local  Community member, part of the Schipul tribe or just stopping by to see what’s happenin’,  we are glad you are here and part of our lives.

At our company, we put a lot of focus on Storytelling – both online and offline.  One of the most crucial components of any Story are the diverse characters that we interact with.  The greater the variety and the depth of the interactions between characters, the more interesting and exciting the Story.

Without you, we’d just be a group of nerds tapping away at our keyboards.  With you in our world, we’re constantly growing, connecting, networking, learning and pushing ourselves in any way we can.

Thanks for being you and thanks being a part of our tribe.  Lots of warm fuzzies from the Schipulites.  We think you’re pretty swell.

Photo thanks to Flickr user chrisjohnbeckett

Thirty Days of Thanks – Photo + camera geek love galore

photographer mitra

One of the greatest things about working for a company like Schipul is the emphasis on growing our professional and personal selves by pursuing our passions.   For many of us, geeking out over photography makes us passionate in a big-big way and I am incredibly thankful for such an outlet and a team that inspires me daily through it.

The great thing about the magical world of the Internet is that even if you don’t work for a company that pushes you to pursue your creative outlets, you still reap the benefits of fantastic photo-focused communities, online tools and inspirational resources.

Here are a few of my personal favorite online spots for tapping into new photographic trends and skills.   So yeah… let’s get our photo geek on, folks:

Flickr (
Certainly a photo online Community standard at this point, Flickr provides a great space to share your photos (with handy privacy features to define exactly who you want your audience to be), join groups of like minded photo nerds and do fun things like geotag your images, create slideshows to embed online and even print images.

Flickr is a free and super way to build Community, search for jaw droppingly beautiful imagery (looking for a great Creative Commons search resource? will rock your little world) and keep you inspired day in and day out.

On Flickr already?   Hook up with a few of these Schipulite Flickr nerds (just to name a handful):

  1. Schipulites Flickr account
  2. Ed Schipul
  3. Katie Laird (hey, that’s me!!)
  4. Kim Hodgson
  5. JJ Lassberg
Many photographers have experimented in the world of Lomo with vintage cameras, funky fish eye lenses, playful color and light dispersion – it’s a great (and sometimes kitschy) way to get the childlike photographer in you out and about!

The site is a haven for folks that like the quirky world of twin-lens reflex cameras, go wild and crazy over Holgas, Dianas, pinhole cameras and medium format film.   Beyond a fantastic shop chalk full of equipment and goodies you’ll be hard pressed to find elsewhere, you can set up a cozy ‘Lomo Home’ to store / share your photos and enter contests and giveaways.   Lomo me this, Batman.

Photojojo (
Most of us will never be professional grade photographers, but darnit we still want to be clued in on the cool stuff too!!   Photojojo is the perfect solution for passionate snappers that just plain like to know neat tricks, tips and cool happenings in the photography kingdom.

Sign up for their newsletter (which is one of those newsletters you actually look forward to seeing in your inbox), shop for cool gadgets in the store and use their cool Time Capsule tool to get photos sent to you from 1 year back.   I’m a Photojojo addict and I know you will be too.

Picnik (
Sometimes you would rather stab yourself in the eye with a blunt object than open up Photoshop or some other uber-clunky and expensive piece of software to edit your photos.   Picnik is the remedy to all of those memory hogging photo editing woes.

It’s a free online tool (with a snazzy well-priced paid version as well if you wanna’ be all ‘PRO’ like and whatnot) that makes it beyond easy to do your basic photo crops and edits, as well as have a little fun with your images (case in point:   my “classy” and “mature” Halloween portrait – all thanks to Picnik).

I feel so fortunate and so thankful for the technology that exists to enable us to teach each other, grow our craft and connect on very personal level.   Whether photography, skateboarding, graffiti, cupcakes or knitting is ‘your thing’ chances are there is an online community for you to engage and grow in.   What a wonderful world we live in…

Photo thanks to Flickr user Mitra Mirshahidi