Meet a Houston Mom | Meet Monica Terry of Lavi & Co Photography
Where are you from originally and how long have you lived in Houston?
I am originally from Iowa, when I was 14 I moved to Chicago and lived there for 10 years and after that I made the move to Houston and have been here for 6 years.
Child(ren) and Age(s)?
Makoa, my son, is 3.5 years old
One thing people would be surprised to know about you…
They would be surprised to know I am super shy at times! Most people would think because I went to school for fashion and am a photographer and also meet a lot of people that I am this huge extroverted person, but in reality I am timid and typically observe what is happening around me before I open up!
Favorite local activities to do in Houston?
Visit my local coffee shops. I have been on a coffee shop journey around Houston since January and actually have photos from every coffee shop I have visited. My favorites lately have been Cavo, Grinders, Luce Ave and Siphon. I love lattes and enjoy seeing what locals have to offer and supporting them!
Do you have a favorite family-friendly restaurant in the area?
My favorite family-friendly restaurant would have to be Hop Doddy’s in Rice Village. We love eating outside and letting our son run around a little bit and play while we relax with some truffle fries!
What local places do you go to for pampering and/or mom’s night out?
I honestly do not do a lot of this but would love to do more! Anywhere that has a good margarita always makes a fun mom’s night out.
Are you involved in a business venture, a local organization, a creative endeavor, or in the corporate world?
I run my own lifestyle photography business, Lavi & Co. Photography. I am a self taught natural light photographer and was inspired by motherhood to begin this journey. I love capturing life as it happens, unscripted, candid, natural, life.
I like to treat each session as more of an experience rather than just another photoshoot. I love meeting families and leaving a positive impression on them, the process of becoming a photographer has been amazing and I am definitely proud of how far I’ve come and can’t wait to do more work around Houston!
Morning Coffee Boudoir is an extension of Lavi & Co. Photography that focuses purely on capturing beautiful moments between a woman and herself. This experience is all about waking up one’s confidence and letting go of what society deems as beauty and showcasing your own. That first cup of coffee happens early in the morning while the rest of the world is sleeping, its that moment you have to yourself that makes you feel warm inside, it is strong, bold and intimate.
How has the Houston community been instrumental in getting you to where you are now?
The mom community in Houston has been extremely instrumental to my business! Being able to connect with all of these moms not just on a business level but just having that connection of being a parent and understanding each other has been phenomenal. I would say about 95% of the clientele I have connected with over the past few years have been moms from local mom groups.
What is the best advice for juggling mommyhood and running a business (or volunteering, working, etc)?
My best advice would be to find effective realistic ways to manage your time. Sometimes that means not saying yes to everyone and every opportunity, if it you have already committed to time with your family than that has to come first. For me personally I do not engage in any business while I am doing things with my son, I want to be fully engaged in his life and many business things can wait until he’s asleep or when he is at school.
What would you tell the old “You” before you had kids?
I would tell the old me to never ever complain about being tired again and to just push through, because you can take a nape whenever you want, sleep in most of the time whenever you want and the only person you have to think about is yourself! I would tell her to indulge in self-care, take more trips, get more facials and just love yourself immensely.
Funniest shortcut/routine for helping you through parenthood?
My son is obsessed with hotwheels so I make sure I have a hotwheel everywhere at every point in time to avoid any meltdowns. I have a hotwheel in my purse, his backpack, the car (front and back seat), if I wear pockets I will even put a hotwheel there, works every time!