The Best Christmas Ever

Our new dream studio is just completed, after three years of planning. Lilia and Daniel are even more excited than I am.

This is the scaled model of the project when we found it.

To say that I was excited when I found this is an understatment. The builder promised that they would rebuild the 80-year-old house and stable to my specifications. The original name for this house was the Little Lodge.

This is the way we found the house in 2007.

This is the old stable that we completely rebuilt into the studio.

Knowing that we found this property 26 hours after we prayed for it, the dream was alive and I knew it was going to happen.

After reading Isaiah 55:9-12 the Lord says my ways are higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts.   I knew that he was talking to me.  I  knew of other scriptures that promised favor, blessings, and prosperity.  The Lord knows the desires of your heart, better than you do.  I simply claimed these promises and pray unceasingly for His help.  My dream for 20 years was to have a truly great studio, with a great clientele.  I just asked for it, sincerely, and once I said the prayer, I did something my mother taught me.  I thanked Him, knowing that He would be faithful.  The world has to see it to believe it.  The believer has to believe it, then he will see it.  This all happened in San Antonio, January 2007.

27 hours later

The very next day, a past client asked me to make a portrait for his annual report.

He was building a new subdivision called Chestnut Lodge. I asked him to build me a home office and he screamed, OH HAVE I GOT THE PLACE FOR YOU!

Now if this is not an answer to prayer, there never was one!  During this Christmas Season, the birthday of our Lord and Savior, we have to give all the Glory to God!

An old red barn sits on the back of the property. I know we'll be out there making portiraits in the spring.

This will be a great backdrop for seniors and families.

This is a picture of the house that I made yesterday.

And this is the studio.

My office has the little balcony upper right, looking over an 8 acre front yard, in the heart of Rockville's historic district.

Big Change from how we found it.

Early photograph of camera room.

This was the old sanitarium, The Chestnut Lodge, a 100 year old structure intended for condos in our front yard. The history of this property is actually unbelievable. A hotel sat on the property well over 100 years ago. My friends, and my wife, all said I was crazy to build behind a sanitarium.

The old sanitarium burned to the ground.

The Historic Landmark was gone in a flash.  They found out some kids were smoking in the space and accidentally sparked it.  I am actually sad to see it gone.  They might rebuild, however for now, we have a football sized field in our front yard.

Google Earth Map..WOW!

The circle is our home and office, the big square is the front yard!

This is the house just a couple of nights ago at's really beautiful

And the Studio

We have to park two cars in the garage, however, that leaves me 2200 sq, feet and a window light studio in the third bay.

This camera room will be a special place for us and our clients for years to come. I wish Monte was alive to see it. He was the catalyst for my career and gave me a road to travel on. If you are ever in the area, or want to come to one of my classes, call us at (301) 670-3232 and we'll look forward to seeing you here.

19 thoughts on “The Best Christmas Ever

  1. Absolutely wonderful Clay; you are truly blessed and we know that all of your future endeavors, creativity and gift to share with others will bring great blessings and joy! Mega blessings and Merry Christmas! Jacy, Jay&Jacy Photography

  2. Thanks for sharing this. I’ve been shooting for a while but after watching several of your videos, wow, it has totally changed the way I shoot these day. What in improvement in my work.

  3. Thanks for sharing your story, I am sure the Lord will continue to bless you in all your endeavors. That is going to be an awesome studio and property for first class work.

  4. Clay, I wanted to comment, immediately, to congradulate you on this most exciting home, residence, studio and a hallmark for your wife and son to fill with love, laughter and endless memories (and pictures of course). Clay, you have succeeded your mentor’s expectations, provided for your wife by fullfilling her dreams and for your clientelle, a studio from which they will have their memorable events and portraits recorded by a master photographer and one of the nice gentlemen in the world.

  5. A beautiful home and studio, Clay. I know you are excited. Congratulations and thank you for sharing your blessing with us.

  6. Oh, It was so awesome to hear your families testimonies. I was in a session you led at a Photo conference my job sent me too. And Its funny the joy and passion was exspressed different then some of the other speakers. So now I understand this joy you have for life. Is from Christ!

    This was just very encouraging to hear.

    For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. Jeremiah 29:11

    Blessed be His Name Forever.

  7. Just happened onto this article and found it very inspiring, thanks for sharing.

    Just a note, if you look at the maps on Bing using “Bird’s eye” you’ll see the old asylum. However, if you zoom in and move around, you’ll get a mix of before/after shots of the asylum. Kinda weird, but I’d probably take screen shots of the before/after just to have ’em for future reference. It probably won’t show up after they update their maps.

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