Philanthropic Photographer

Altruistic Aperture

Nickole Kerner Bobley

Dec 05, 2018

Mindy Harmon’s Top Reasons for Giving:

  • Help Others in Need
  • Bring More Meaning into Your Life
  • Teach Your Children Generosity
  • Inspire Others to Give

For the past 12 years, award-winning portraiture photographer Mindy Harmon has been creating incredible family portraits for the walls of some of the most beautiful homes in The Woodlands. 

In 2008, Harmon started a Giving Back to The Community program centering her studio around supporting charitable causes in The Woodlands. Quickly, she became a creative giving power house—from hosting non-profit events at her stunning studio and adjacent salon to providing silent auction donation items like family portrait sessions to creating event specific fundraisers for galas. This year, her charitable giving will top a whopping $250,000 for Woodlands area charities! 

Harmon’s latest philanthropic creation is called “The Giving Box”. It is a simple, but powerful fundraising tool where each year she partners with different local businesses who donate items to fill mystery boxes which she then sells at various charity functions. This year’s Giving Box partners are Couture House, Seychelles Med Spa, Diva Boutique, Studio A Pilates, Hand and Stone Massage and Orange Theory. 

“My goal is to sell at least 25 boxes at $199 each at each charity event that I’m involved,” explains Harmon. “This way, I can quickly raise at least $5k for the respective charity.”

Harmon is involved with many charitable causes including Junior League of The Woodlands, Lone Star Education, Rose Foundation and Montgomery County Food Bank—so her unique spin on fundraising and ebullient creative energy is utilized across a large swath of non-profits in Montgomery County. 

Harmon started her photography business out of a 10 x 10 spare bedroom in her Village of Panther Creek home that she shares with her husband, Jon, their 3 teen boys and the family’s beloved Siberian Husky, “Kaz”. Soon, however, with new equipment purchases, a bevy of props and staff joining the mix, she knew finding a retail space was inevitable. 

Harmon moved to the Grogan’s Mill Park Shopping Center and Mindy Harmon Photography took its next big step by adding oil painted photography into the mix. When the space in front her studio became available, she opened Lavish Salon, a stand-alone hair and makeup studio that also doubles as the perfect place for clients to get ready before a photography session. Between the 2 businesses, Harmon now manages a dedicated staff of 10 people. 

Harmon’s philosophy on portrait photography is very different. Most photographers take photos and then the family figures out where to hang the framed photo in their home. Harmon does just the opposite. First, she starts with the space in mind and then conceptualizes the photo shoot from there. She either visits the family’s home or has the family bring in photos and video of the space the family photo will ultimately be hung in.  

“I want to make sure all the design elements within the space work together when creating what is essentially a family legacy gift,” explains Harmon. “I reverse engineer the whole process and take people from researching the space to creative concepts for the photo shoot to framing the final photograph.”

Originally from Conroe, Harmon is a self-taught photographer who went on to study with photography mentors around the country including Gregory Daniels, a renowned portrait photographer in Titusville, Florida, and most recently Darrell Chitty, who paints oil portraits in an old-world style in Bossier City, Louisiana.

Harmon’s artistic influences include John Singer Sargent, the Italian born, American painter of the 19thcentury who painted portraits of Edwardian society’s upper class. Renowned for his exquisite naturalism, some of his best work also shows brushes with Impressionism and unorthodox compositions.  

Although Harmon loves photographing families in The Woodlands, charitable giving is what she’d like to be remembered for. Inspired by The Woodlands community’s big-heartedness, she in turn hopes to inspire others with her Giving Back to the Communityprogram.  

To learn more about The Giving Box, please visit  HERE