Posts in personal

A city fill with hardcore Saints fans, architecture to die for, beignets that melt in your mouth, music in the streets makes you just want to dance, art lining the streets, culture that pours all over the city & color that makes a photographer go gaga over!!!

Definitely will make a trip back there in the near future!






















































Let's Fight!!

Not sure if you know but my family owns several Martial Art schools & a fully equipped gym, so I grew up in the fighting/karate world. Its actually a really neat world to be apart of. My brother is a professional boxer, amateur MMA fighter, Jiu Jitsu enthusiast & a well rounded martial artist. I also grew up doing the martial arts, but Im retired now-yes I know it sounds silly but I really am. At our gym last night, we were graced with a killer girl from Brazil who is making her UFC debut July 26th in a brand new weight class. How cool is that?!! I think its pretty awesome. Its not every day that you get to meet people at the beginning of their career & then later say when their all big & bad, I know them! Like I actually know & have trained with them.

You're probably thinking, what does fighting have to do with MY photography page? A few things actually, its a personal thing that I love & its apart of my everyday life. There are many people who actually shoot fighter's for a living and they rock! My personal favorite is Ryan Loco, Im always inspired how he started and where his talent has taken him. I always like challenging myself and shooting something different, something that I know but look at differently now that Im on the sidelines. And any excuse to show off my kick ass brother & his raw talent is always a good enough excuse for pictures! (He used to hate me taking pictures of him, now thats all he wants me to do. I guess persistence pays off.)

So with that said, I hope you enjoy these photos & don't forget to watch Ju Thai on July 26th kill during her fight!












Fighters: Ju Thai

Omar Hillail

Facility: V12 Sports & Fitness League City, TX

Hydra Melody Concert

This was one of the most awesome experiences I've ever encountered. My good friend Chelsie & I were traveling to New York for some shoots, while we were taxing waiting for the plane to take off I was sitting next to this dapper dude & knew he had to be some kind of musician. We got to chatting & turns out that him & his band were traveling to New York for the Get out of the Garage competition. Come to find out, they were a local Texas band from San Antonio - needless to say, Matt (the drummer) & I hit it off really nicely! They invited us to go watch them play &&& we got to take our cameras in & shoot them while they played an awesome set.

Hydra Melody guys-it was so wonderful meeting you guys! We had such an awesome time & it was a great way to kick off our trip to New York!! Chelsie & I can't wait to go back & hope to run into you guys again! Keep up all of the amazing work, can't wait to hear y'alls new album!!!













Three Nails Workshop ~ Alice in Wonderland

Two weeks ago today, I was wrapping up the last day of the Three Nails Photography workshop. I can't put into words how amazing the experience was and how invigorating it was to learn from so many talented people, especially Hunter. Hunter is one of my biggest inspirations and I LOVE his work, being able to learn from him was truly amazing. I met so many talented photographers at this workshop and we all instantly clicked which was wonderful! I hope I get to work with them all again during my journey as a photographer, until then Im going to work my butt off fulfilling my dream and ever lasting desire to be a world class photographer.

Here are some sneak peeks at the various shoots that we did.

Engagement session:

Bridal Session:

Best Man & Maid of honor from the wedding portion:

This workshop would not have happened without: Hunter Leone of Three Nails Photography with his creative vision & direction. Makeup artist, Meka with Meka with Motives without her talented hands everyone would look plain & blah. Kirstie Kelly Collections for the amazing wedding dresses. Untamed Petals for their gorgeous headpieces. Pursing Eden for the set design and props that adorned our table. Rampage Farms in Hooks, TX, for hosting & allowing us to use their stunning property.

My home away from home ~ Studio, Le Zu Photography

For quite some time now all I've been wanting to do is open a studio; a place where I can meet clients, a place to for me to be able to do certain type of shoots and a place to call my own. Reality finally set in a couple of months ago when I found the perfect little spot. You may or may not know, I grew up in the Martial Arts industry and until I started doing photography that was all I knew. My parents opened up their first Martial Arts facility in the Clear Lake area 19 years ago this June and it was mine & my brother's home away from home. As the years went on we opened up two more facilities and our main location in Clear Lake grew, we added more buildings and are still expanding. With our expansion, a few years ago, my parents built a nice size office in the back of our main facility and it wasn't really used much. I finally got the courage to ask if I could move in and without hesitation they both said yes. It was definitely something that I had been waiting a long time to do so I was beyond excited that my dream was actually coming true. I started planning it out in my head back in December and all I had to do was wait for the current tenant to move out completely and I could move in. Once April hit I was ready. I moved in and it became my new home away from home. The best part about it is that I grew up on the grounds where my studio is located so I couldn't be happier about my location. Its definitely my little slice of heaven.

I am beyond blessed that I was able to open up my studio and now have a place to do the things I have envisioned for this next step for my company. I hope you enjoy the tour, in photos, of my studio. You'll definitely need to come visit in person though!


Studio hours are by appointment only, if you'd like to come have a private tour don't hesitate to ask! :)

Styled Shoot with Nneka ~ Le Zu Photography

I couldn't be more happy with the way this styled shoot came out. So much went into this shoot & I couldn't be more grateful to everyone that helped to make it possible!!

Some background information:

If I could travel the world, designing and doing styled shoots I would!! (I'm even starting to incorporate custom/personalized shoots for my clients.) It's one of my dreams to collaborate with various designers and artists and come up with amazing styled shoots to be featured in various magazines and online forums. I love seeing my vision come to life! While I was designing this shoot, the more I designed it the more detailed it became. It took over a month of designing and working on the details of the shoot for it to come to life but I do have to say that it was well worth it!

Details about the shoot:

There were so many details that went into this shoot!! Lets start off with the props! The set was vintage inspired and not necessarily a particular period, just vintage. I used my favorite white couch, along with some panels that I custom made myself - I've become a part time carpenter by the way - I LOVE birdcages and found one that was perfect! I even custom made the headpiece that Nneka is wearing in a few of the shots. Yes, Im crafty!! I also used one of my great-grandmother's tea sets along with a phone that she used to have in her house. No shoot of mine would be complete without COLOR!!! So, I sat and thought what would make this shoot even more amazing and it hit me...MACARONS & CUPCAKES!! I have to thank my dear friend, Sukaina of Macarons by Patisse for the amazing macarons & cupcakes!! Not only were they the perfect touch for the shoot but everything tasted uh-MA-zing!!!! The macarons melt in your mouth and the cupcakes were perfect!! I have to say I'm not a huge fan of sweets but I'll eat her macarons all day, any day!! And then just to add some more life to the shoot I decided to add lots of little details.

I have to thank my amazing model Nneka because without her gorgeous face this wouldn't have happened!! Nneka, you're so amazing and gorgeous! I am so happy I got to work with you! I had to refrain myself from editing her entire film because it was that amazing!!

I have to thank my wonderful friend Justin for doing the behind the scenes video!! It will be up soon!! So hang tight!!

I have to thank my amazing brother for helping me carry everything to & from the shoot...he's the muscles in the house so I had to use him! ;)

Everyones contribution to this shoot is beyond appreciated!! Thank you to everyone who had a hand in this shoot, you are truly amazing!

I think that's enough rambling!! Now time for some pictures!!! Enjoy!!! xo layla :)

Many Thanks!!! Photographer: Layla Hillail, Le Zu Photography Videographer: Justin Roelant Model: Nneka M. Tasty Treats: Macarons by Patisse Hair & Makeup: Layla Hillail Set Desginer: Layla Hillail Props: Various Stores & Heirlooms

3 years! ~ Le Zu Photography

Hello beautiful people!!!

So with last weeks exciting news, I have some more amazing news to share!!!

Le Zu Photography is celebrating 3 years in business!! Wow!! I can't believe how fast the time has gone and how blessed I have been! I have had some amazing clients over the past 3 years and I couldn't be more grateful for all of the opportunities that have come my way! I want to thank everyone who has helped to make my dreams come true and to everyone whose life I been so fortunate to be apart of to capture memories for many years to come! I absolutely, positively LOVE EACH & EVERY ONE OF MY CLIENTS!! You guys are utterly amazing and I wouldn't be where I am today without you!

In addition to Le Zu turning 3 years old I have decided to do a 2 month special for all of you!! Now just because it's running for 2 months, doesn't mean you need to wait until the last day to book your session. Trust me, my schedule books up extremely fast and I wouldn't want you to miss any opportunity!

For all of you lovely people, I am offering an amazing deal! $300 off any wedding package that I offer AS WELL AS 30% off any event or session package!! HURRY!! DON'T WAIT!! BOOK YOUR SESSION BEFORE TIME & SPACES RUN OUT!!! If you have any questions, feel free to email me at

Much love!!! xo Layla

A new home for Le Zu Photography

Hi beautiful people!!!!

So many of you have been waiting so patiently for this exciting new that I am about to share!! I wanted to wait until my fan page on Facebook -> reached a 1000 "likes" and as of this morning it did!!! :D It definitely put me in the most amazing mood when I saw that!

So without further ado the amazing news!! Okay here it goes, after much deliberation I am opening up my own studio!! Yes, thats right MY VERY OWN STUDIO!!! I couldn't be more blessed, excited and over all a million times grateful! I will finally have a place to meet the amazing clients that have been coming my way, no more Starbucks meetings! The people at Starbucks might be upset but its okay Im not a huge fan of their overly priced coffee anyway! So much is going into my studio that I can not wait to share photos with you all! I don't want to say to much about it, you'll just have to wait for the pictures! :)

And since a blog post isn't a post until there are some photos on it, here's a couple of photos from the amazing collaboration I did yesterday! It was over a month in the making and I have to say it turned out even more amazing than my expectations!!! A full post will be up shortly so be sure to check back!!

The beautiful Nneka everyone!

Year in review ~ Le Zu Photography

WOW, what a year!!! I don't even know where to start!! I want to first say that I have been truly blessed this year, my business has grown so much and is still growing! I have been so very grateful for all of the amazing clients I have had over the past year and no session was ever the same. I was exposed to so many different clients and I have been so happy for each and every opportunity that came my way. This year was a very trying year for me and I am happy to say that I pulled through and came out even stronger than before. It has been a lot of trial and error and finding out what works and what doesn't definitely takes time and I think Im happy to say that even though Im still very much learning a lot I think I have finally found what works for me and my company.

I hope to continue to grow my company more and more each day and be blessed and honored to photograph more beautiful faces along the way! I can't wait to see what 2013 brings and hoping that it brings everyone health, happiness and prosperity!! It has truly been an honor to work with all of the amazing people I worked with over the past year. I started off last year with a 50th wedding anniversary for one of the sweetest couples I have ever met and I will be ending it today with a family session! Below are just some of the sessions I shot over the year, if I put all of them up you guys would be here too long. ;) I definitely grew a lot as an artist and can't wait to grow even more!

I will be starting off 2013 with some personal projects and a wedding!!! Im super excited and can't wait! Im ready to share with you all the next chapter in my life as well as in the people that I meet along the way.

I hope you all have an amazing New Year and live each and everyday as it was meant to be lived, to the fullest!

I want to leave you all with this: Smile every where you go, laugh when unnecessary, cry when needed, hug a little harder even if its too tight, kiss those whom you love longer and just be YOU! The world needs more people like the one you are. Happy New Year Everyone!! xo~Layla

Chef Maha ~ Le Zu Photography

**WARNING!! THIS POST MAY CAUSE HUNGER!!**Gorgeous Chef Maha is one talented lady! She cooked up a storm for this shoot! She made fish with rice topped with slivered almonds and parsley, lamb chops with mixed vegetables and couscous AND dessert!!! I had to refrain from picking at the food while we were shooting! We definitely devoured it afterwards though and yes it taste's just as amazing as it looks! I do have to thank her amazing dad for being her su-chef, he was pretty awesome for being around a bunch of girls helping us. :) Without further ado, the gorgeous Chef Maha!!

My trip to Puerto Rico ~ Le Zu Photography ~

A little while back my family & I took a trip to Puerto Rico and it was amazing!! I actually didn't want to leave! The water was so blue, the atmosphere was so relaxing and the people were wonderful! Instead of taking my regular camera that I use on most sessions, I decided to grab my 35mm film camera and go back to basics. I have to say I wish I would have taken full advantage of my trip and taken a lot more photos, oh well hopefully next trip. :) Most of you probably don't know but I actually learned on a 35mm film camera and eventually switched over to digital, at first I didn't like the switch but of course everyone ends up loving the instant gratification of seeing work but I loved the anticipation of waiting to see what came out. It took me forever & a day to get these images developed but I have to say that I am 100% happy I waited. I will definitely be using my film camera more often now because I have greatly missed the texture and quality the cameras produce. These images have very little post-production involved and are basically straight from my negatives. I hope you enjoy and hopefully the next trip I take I will pull out my camera more and share all the wonderful things I get to see. :)

Enjoy! ~xo Layla

               Around the city

El castillo del Moro

I hope you all have a fabulous Thanksgiving!! Don't forget about the Black Friday Sale going on, it ends on Monday the 26th. Book your session before there are no more dates left!!! ~xo Layla

Cha-cha-cha-changes!!!!!! ~ Le Zu Photography, Houston Lifestyle & Fashion Photographer ~

Hello beautiful people!!

Its been way too long since I've written a blog for you guys. Fair warning...its going to be a little long. :)

Now I know I've been a little MIA lately and just been teasing with photos here & there but I promise that's all about to change! Im going back to blogging and  sharing all of the goodness that is Le Zu Photography! So expect to see a lot more blog posts from me in the near future!

I am also adding a few things to my company! Im super excited about the new additions!

Biggest news is..... I am adding CUSTOM PHOTO BOOTHS!!! That's right! You can now book me for any upcoming event you may be having, put yourself in front of my camera & act a complete fool with feather boas, extra large sunglass and tiny hats and not be made fun of because everyone is going to be doing it! Go spread the word, gather some friends, throw a party & book a photo booth with me! I promise you wont regret it! :)

Secondly, I am going to be doing a lot more fashion/editorial shoots! I am really excited about this one! If you don't already know I have an extreme amount of passion for fashion photography. I live and breathe it more than most people know, I have an addiction for fashion magazines...its pretty bad. It has always been a dream of mine to have my photos featured in a magazine, you'll see one day I'll be posting about it. I love doing different collaborations and expanding my portfolio, if only there were enough hours in the day to photograph gorgeous faces. If anyone wants to get behind my camera & be a model for me let me know, I am pouring with ideas right now!

Now that the holidays are coming up its time to start booking holiday portraits! I am going to start opening up more days to do sessions. Right now, due to my full-time job, I only shoot on the weekends. That's all changing, I am now opening up a few days a week for sessions along with shooting on the weekends. :) This time of the year is one of my favorites to do shoots because it has the most amazing light and the weather is often pretty nice outside so no one gets all sweaty and sticky from the wonderful Houston heat. TAKE ADVANTAGE OF IT WHILE IT LASTS!!

There are going to be a few more additions and subtractions along the way, but everything is for the better. Owning a business is pretty tough, its a constant learning process and I have to say I have learned so much in the last two years with running my company. I'm still learning what works & what doesn't and how things could be improved. It has been such a dream to capture the moments I have and I can't wait to capture so many more. I have a lot of goals for my company and I am hoping to share them with you all soon! I don't want to count my chickens before they hatch!

I do have to thank all of the secret lovers of my work out there. I am constantly receiving praises of my work when I see people face-to-face and I absolutely love it!!! Now if only the secret lovers would share my work, I'd be even more grateful!! Hint, hint..when you "Like" something on Facebook it shows up in the news feed & ticker, so when people go to stalk you they'll see you stalking my work and then they'll go stalk my work...its a never ending vicious cycle that rocks!! So don't be shy share & hit the "Like" button, I promise the people in the picture will love it as well! ;)

I think that's enough ranting for one blog....more to come soon I promise! And, just to give you a sneak peek a what's coming here's a few images from the past few months that will be hitting the blog very soon!

For now- bear hugs, smiles & best wishes!! Until next time! :)