The JL Bar Ranch, Resort & Spa, located in Sonora Texas, is more than just a gorgeous & exclusive resort destination, comprising over 13,000 rolling acres of oak trees and wild grasses. This new luxury resort served as the home base for the “Texas Safari Styled Shoot.” This event was naturally unique because of the ranch’s wildlife and the original safari/boho atmosphere. But this styled shoot offered more than a wondrous setting; it engulfed the talents of local military spouses by creating community and solidarity for everyone involved.
San Antonio is known as “Military City USA”. This title was bestowed on our city for the honor of having so many military bases and members. We proudly support and love our military here, but what is less known is that just 2 ½ hours west of us, near Del Rio, lies tiny Laughlin AFB. It is within this community that a unique group of talented military spouses found each other. These spouses discovered they could fuse their talents together to make a truly magnificent creation.
Karen Adams – shoot organizer, event designer and military spouse – discovered that so many military spouses have creative gifts and professions that deserved to be displayed. Because military families move so often – on average every 2-4 years,but sometimes less – professional spouses do not have many opportunities to showcase their abilities or build a strong clientele. This prompted Karen to create a styled photo shoot where the entire event would be designed and executed entirely by military spouses. Karen said, “Being a small business is already a challenge and as a military spouse you know every few years you are going to have to move and reestablish yourself and your business. This shoot also gives these spouses the chance to connect and encourage one another on their journeys afterwards.”
This faux wedding highlighted military spouse professionals of all kinds. There were five photographers, a professional potter, a floral event designer, two models, a make-up & hair stylist, a graphic designer and a professional baker. The perfection of the table displays, floral arrangements, cake design and the walking models exhibited their talents and artistic abilities in one fascinating photo shoot. When asked why this styled shoot was so important to her, Karen Adams said “Being a military spouse can often feel like a safari itself; there are points of excitement and things you may not have expected to see, but overall it is a beautiful adventure that is uniquely your own.” The military spouse community has always held a strong bond, but in this case, it is also revealed to be a beautiful one.
As a military spouse, and native San Antonioian, Erin Beene spent her younger years in the northern suburb of Bulverde. She graduated high school in 2004 from Bracken Christian School. She graduated from Hardin-Simmons University in Abilene, Texas, in 2007 with a BBS in History. After graduation, she moved to Lubbock, Texas, where she met her future husband, an Air Force ROTC cadet at Texas Tech University. In 2009, they were married at the Vintage Oaks Clubhouse in New Braunfels and were immediately swept away to live the military life.
Erin has lived all over the US and Europe and is the mother of two children. She has worked in social media as the managing editor of Hulafrog Shreveport and has written articles for several publications over the years. She is now working towards her masters degree in digital marketing. She is happy to be living in Texas again- at least for a few years- as it is the place she will always call home.
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