Coming Full Circle: Gittings Acquisition of Heinz Kugler Photography Pays Tribute to Life and Passion of Local Artist

Posted by Barry Benton on Jun 5, 2007 9:51:00 AM

June 5, 2007 (Houston, Texas) - It was 1971 when Heinz Kugler walked into Gittings for his first job as a portrait photographer. It was the place his career started - where he could hone his craft and learn the business prior to starting his own studio - and it is the place where his lifelong passion is continuing on after his recent death.

Gittings, which was founded in 1928, is one of the oldest and most established photography studios in Houston. Its rich heritage of fine portraiture has led it to become the studio of choice for many of Houston's most prominent families and also for many leading corporate executives. Its history alone, however, was not the reason Kugler's widow Brie chose to sell Kugler Photography to Gittings after her husband's death.

"Through the years Heinz shared great stories of when he first began his career in photography with Gittings over 36 years ago. He held those memories very dear," Brie said. "With the studio's acquisition by Gittings, Heinz's legacy of beautiful portraiture and customer service lives on with the full circle transition back to his original photographic roots."

Brie Kugler sent a letter to all their clients notifying them of the transition. It's clear in her correspondence that just as Gittings has served multi-generations of families, Heinz Kugler's clients meant more to him than just business. They were part of his personal life, making the personal connection between Gittings and Kugler even more relevant.

"All of our clients were very much a part of Heinz's extended family and finding the perfect "home" in which to carry on what Heinz loved to give to all of you in portraiture was of utmost importance," Brie said.

Gittings owner Greg Lorfing said he is honored to have been chosen to carry on Kugler's business. "It is very evident by the many calls we have received that Heinz was dearly loved by his clientele. Often his clients will convey a very personal memory of a time spent with Heinz. Not only did they appreciate the art that he brought to their families, but they adored the person behind the camera for the love he showed for each of them."

In order to provide a seamless transition for Kugler's clients, all of Kugler's digital files and negative archives have been merged into the Gittings archives. The Kugler studio's phone number has also been retained and is now connected to Gittings central reservation system for appointments. The Gittings Portrait has been recognized as a mark of personal distinction since 1928. For more information on Gittings, visit