Houston photographer- family, engagement and senior portraits, event photography: Blog http://www.nickievansphotography.com/blog en-us Nicki Evans Photography 2011-2017 nicki@nevansphotos.com (Houston photographer- family, engagement and senior portraits, event photography) Tue, 06 Mar 2018 19:34:00 GMT Tue, 06 Mar 2018 19:34:00 GMT http://www.nickievansphotography.com/img/s/v-5/u945919772-o474636071-50.jpg Houston photographer- family, engagement and senior portraits, event photography: Blog http://www.nickievansphotography.com/blog 120 80 Fall leaves and (somewhat) cool days - Family portraits with a little leaf-pile-fun http://www.nickievansphotography.com/blog/2018/2/fall-leaves-and-somewhat-cool-days---family-portraits-with-a-little-leaf-pile-fun Family portraits with a little leaf-pile-fun--

This family may be my most photographed of all clients. From engagement portraits to a fishing-themed-first birthday party and now portraits of the full family of four, I think we've covered quite a few of the major milestones over the past 10 years. 

For the latest family Christmas card, we opted for a simple outdoor setting with a few props thrown in, including fallen leaves, to entertain the kids. It was my first time to photograph Bowen, who just turned 2. He was a breeze...all smiles the whole time. Leyton made me work a bit harder for her portraits this go around, but after chatting a bit about fairytale princesses and picking flowers, a couple of good smiles popped out. 

Such a beautiful family!

I'll take a smile for a photo any day, but sometime the images that steal my heart the most are ones with straightforward expressions and no frills...just an honest capture of life. I have another photo of Leyton from her 2-year session where she's sniffing a wildflower too. It's funny how some thing don't change.

Last but not least, a little fun with a pile of leaves. This is almost always a winner for smiles. 

Like on Facebook

Follow on Twitter

Follow on Instagram

]]>
nicki@nevansphotos.com (Houston photographer- family, engagement and senior portraits, event photography) chambers county children's portraits family portraits http://www.nickievansphotography.com/blog/2018/2/fall-leaves-and-somewhat-cool-days---family-portraits-with-a-little-leaf-pile-fun Thu, 08 Feb 2018 22:37:48 GMT
A little mom/daughter fun at Houston's best urban park - Family portraits at Discovery Green http://www.nickievansphotography.com/blog/2018/1/a-little-mom/daughter-fun-at-the-best-urban-park---family-portraits-at-discovery-green Family portraits at Discovery Green--

Just before Christmas, on my favorite kind of winter day (sunny and 50-60 degrees), I met Brittany and Paulina at Discovery Green for their Christmas portraits. The mom/daughter duo were matched in a perfect shade of winter green that looked fabulous against the earthy colors of the park (and the blue mosaic wall too). 

For this location, I like to walk around with families to the various vignettes within Discovery Green, so we can capture portraits in a mix of settings that are sometimes urban, sometimes rural and sometimes artsy. Most of the rural parks around the city only offer natural settings. This park is great though because you can capture that look, walk a few feet and then take a few portraits that look more like city life. It's the best of both worlds. 

Like my little superhero cowboy in a previous blog, Paulina is also a fan of the comic book heroes. She prefers Wonder Woman though, over Superman. For the second half of the portrait session, she switched outfits to a sequined Wonder Woman T-shirt with some tights and sneakers that were glitzed in gold to match. I think she had a little more fun too once Wonder Woman arrived on the scene. 

As we strolled through the park, we stopped on a bench to read a book, checked out the little pond for fish, then last, we had a brief bit of fun throwing leaves...although I think her mom and I had more fun with the leaves than Paulina. It still made for an adorable portrait though!

Enjoy these family portraits from Discovery Green!

Like on Facebook

Follow on Twitter

Follow on Instagram

]]>
nicki@nevansphotos.com (Houston photographer- family, engagement and senior portraits, event photography) children's portraits discovery green family portraits houston tx http://www.nickievansphotography.com/blog/2018/1/a-little-mom/daughter-fun-at-the-best-urban-park---family-portraits-at-discovery-green Wed, 24 Jan 2018 20:34:38 GMT
When it rains, make photographs - Family and children's portraits following a rainy day http://www.nickievansphotography.com/blog/2018/1/when-it-rains-make-photographs---family-and-childrens-portraits-following-a-rainy-day Family and children's portraits following a rainy day--

I always hate to reschedule a portrait session, because I know everyone's time is valuable and finding a slot in the ever-busy calendar for family portraits isn't always the easiest thing to do. I'm pretty sure we had already rescheduled this portrait session (back in fall) at least once because of weather, so on the second (maybe third) attempt, we decided to go forward with the session. It was supposed to be nice out that day, even though it had rained pretty hard the day before.

If life gives you lemons, you make lemonade. So when life provides mud puddles, you jump right in the water and make portraits in the puddles. I mean, what's more fun than that for a 2-year-old little boy anyway? I think dad had a little fun too.

Look at those baby blues!!!

Before we splish-splashed in the puddles, we took a few family portraits that were a little more traditional (and dry). 

\

For more portraits of this lovely family and their adorable little boy, check out some of their past portrait sessions below:

One year portraits

Newborn portraits

 

Like on Facebook

Follow on Twitter

Follow on Instagram

]]>
nicki@nevansphotos.com (Houston photographer- family, engagement and senior portraits, event photography) chambers county children's portraits family portraits wallisville http://www.nickievansphotography.com/blog/2018/1/when-it-rains-make-photographs---family-and-childrens-portraits-following-a-rainy-day Mon, 22 Jan 2018 19:28:38 GMT
On the sidelines- My trip to Super Bowl LI with Sports Illustrated http://www.nickievansphotography.com/blog/2018/1/on-the-sidelines--my-trip-to-super-bowl-li-with-sports-illustrated January 4, 2016 - One year ago today, I received one of my favorite phone calls of all time. It was John McDonough, Sports Illustrated photographer, calling, "I'm coming to Houston for the Super Bowl, and I wanted to know if you'd be available to assist." Yes, yes, yes...a million times yes. 

Let's rewind about four months though. For those who don't know, I work about 3 days a week doing photography at the University of Houston, for the Bauer College of Business. Most of my work there is event photography, head shots and environmental portraits for the website, ad, various corporate collateral pieces and a magazine called Inside Bauer. I don't do any work related to athletics. But alas, I had a connection...in a roundabout way.

August 26, 2016 - I got a text from Houston commercial photographer and friend Robert Seale. Robert used to shoot sports regularly and is friends with John McDonough. Robert said that John called him looking for a Houston assistant to help carry gear at the upcoming UH vs. OU game. Even though I don't work in sports anymore, Robert recommended me and passed along my information since I was knowledgeable of the UH campus (and maybe since he knew I had a bit of photojournalism experience...at least enough sports sense to to be handy on the sidelines). So when John called me, I said yes. Typically I'd prefer to be the one behind the camera, but I'm always up for new experiences and getting to meet and hang out with photographers. So, why not?

Turned out to be a great experience! John was super personable, and treated me like his equal. My job was nothing too hard, only a bit tiring. I basically followed him around carrying 2-3 camera bodies with lenses and swapped them out with him as needed. We worked together two days...one day at practice and the second day at the game. 

September 3, 2016 - The day of the UH vs. OU game was quite long, but a lot of fun. I definitely earned my paycheck as we trekked from one end of the field to the other with all of those cameras on my neck and shoulders. On top of that, it was a super exciting football game and UH came out with the win. Go Coogs!!

After a long day of work, John offered to buy me dinner of my choice. Since he's from California, I thought he needed some proper Tex-Mex while in town, so we went to Ninfa's on Navigation for fajitas...and about 10 glasses of iced tea for me. There was hardly enough breaks in the day to drink more than one bottle of water.

As we were parting ways (and since John had seemed happy enough with my work as an assistant), I mentioned that if he came back for the Super Bowl, I'd love to work for him again. I really figured that it wouldn't happen, assuming that for the biggest game of the year, he could probably have any assistant he wanted, not just someone local. So, for the next few months, it didn't really cross my mind to get my hopes up of working the game.

Back to January 4, and you'd think I was a kid who had just won a trip to Disneyworld. I was over the moon. Not only was I going to attend the biggest sporting event in the world, but I was going to be right in the action, and getting paid to be there. 

February 5- Game day! It was a Sunday, of course, so I started off the day at Second Baptist. Case Keenum (former UH Coog) was speaking at the church, and I didn't want to miss it. So I listed to Case speak, then snuck out during the last song to meet up with John. The whole day was a bit surreal. I couldn't believe I was going to the Super Bowl. 

I think we arrived at NRG about 4-5 hours before the game. Traffic was already getting a bit crazy, with signs for $100 parking everywhere you looked. After parking, we headed through security, which was like airport security on steroids...metal detectors, bombs dogs, bag searches, multiple identification checks. Not only did I have to have a background check to work this game, but upon each entrance of the field, a security guard looked at our badge to make sure our faces matched the photos on them, and they were scanned into a security kiosk. Good thing though. With the craziness in the world today, it was comforting to know that security was tight. 

Once inside the gates, we went to the Sports Illustrated offices to get settled and say hi to a few folks. John introduced me to Walter Iooss, and luckily I didn't act too star struck. Walter is a legendary sports photographer, who has shot every single Super Bowl...all of them!! Even if you don't know anything about photography, you would recognize some of his portraits.

Since we were so early to the game, it was a bit slow paced for a while, which was the calm before the storm. We got to grab a bite to eat in the press area, then check out the stadium and find our assigned field location. Unlike the UH vs. OU, where we could shoot from anywhere on the field, we only had one box to stand in. We were right behind the "O" in the Patriots end zone the whole game. Luckily the guy in the box next to John didn't show up, so we had a tiny bit of breathing room. After that, there was a little powwow with all the SI photogs (7 in all...plus assistants and card runners). We were given our jobs, then it was time to work.

I rarely take a selfie, but the Super Bowl called for a few.

Meet John McDonough!

Once the all of the shenanigans of the Super Bowl began, there was constant movement. Before the actual game, there were tons of people roaming the sidelines. That was a bit stressful, because I was in charge of protecting the cameras. I just knew someone was going to step on one. I didn't meet any celebrities at the game, but they were all over the place. I don't generally go crazy at seeing someone famous, but I was excited that Pres. George H. W. Bush and Barbara Bush were there for the coin toss. The day after the game, I found out the Elton John was at the game. Not gonna lie...If I had seen him, I might have gone a little fangirl on him. 

Then, the game actually started. Once the game was in action though, it felt a little more like a normal football game. There was less hoopla on the sidelines. But we were busy. Between John and I, we had 5 camera bodies with lenses. He wore two on straps on his person and shot with one of the big guns. I managed the other two cameras with big lenses, like the one below. Basically, if the players moved further down the field, I passed him a body with a bigger zoom. Then as they moved closer to us, we swapped and I passed over the bodies with smaller zooms. It was quite a workout, and a tad bit stressful, considering something like what is pictured below costs about $20-25K. Luckily I made it through the entire game without dropping a camera or scratching a lens. Phew!

  

The half-time show was probably my favorite part of the Super Bowl. It's quite impressive how fast they can assemble and disassemble a full-on concert. Luckily, we were able to be a bit more flexible with our location during half-time. It took a bit of finagling, but we made our way closer to the stage as the singing began. I've never thought of myself as a Lady Gaga fan. I knew she had a beautiful voice, especially after that time she sang the Sound of Music tribute at the Oscars. But wow! She can sure put on a show! 

As we were heading back to our little assigned square on the sidelines, I heard someone mention wake boarding. Of course, I was immediately at attention and looked up to see a Thunderbird pilot. Apparently Thunderbird No. 6 likes to wakeboard and saw my cap (Ronix is a wakeboard brand). I was slightly unprofessional and asked John to take my photo with the pilot before returning back to my assistant duties. 

The second half of the game was much like the first, with lots of shuffling of equipment. But the action of the game was more exciting, since it turned out to be a historical game with it going into overtime. With about 10 seconds left in the game, I grabbed my phone to catch the confetti spray. My press pass didn't allow me on the field until 2 minutes after the final whistle. At that time, my job was basically done. I just had to guard the three bodies with bigger lenses while John took in all the action. The card runner who was working with us and I just enjoyed the moment of celebration that was taking place around us. 

  

An hour or so later, we had packed up and it was back to reality. I was back to being just another Houstonian on the freeway. 

 

Like on Facebook

Follow on Twitter

Follow on Instagram

]]>
nicki@nevansphotos.com (Houston photographer- family, engagement and senior portraits, event photography) tx houston personal photojournalism http://www.nickievansphotography.com/blog/2018/1/on-the-sidelines--my-trip-to-super-bowl-li-with-sports-illustrated Thu, 04 Jan 2018 14:45:00 GMT
If Superman were a cowboy - Children's portraits in Chambers County http://www.nickievansphotography.com/blog/2018/1/if-superman-were-a-cowboy---childrens-portraits-in-chambers-county Children's portraits in Chambers County--

If Superman were a cowboy, he'd look just like this little man.

If Superman doesn't want too much attention for his incredible superhero powers, he goes in disguise with Wranglers and boots...the perfect outfit to "hide in plain sight" in Southeast Texas.

 

But when Superman is ready to save the day...BAM! He reveals his true identity!

Meet Tance...the tiny and adorable superhero that I had the chance to photograph just before Christmas. He toughed it out for a few minutes in his button-up shirt, all tucked in like quite the little man. But I think he had a little more fun once he got to put the "S" on his chest. We played in the leaves, and he told me about all of his favorite superheroes.

     

We attempted to fly like Superman, and we looked for creatures in the woods. 

I think Tance's favorite part of his portrait session was picking up sticks though to take home for a fire. He had racked up quite the collection by the time we had finished. 

 

Hope you enjoyed meeting Superman, A.K.A. Tance. I sure enjoyed meeting him and getting to photograph him. 

 

Like on Facebook

Follow on Twitter

Follow on Instagram

]]>
nicki@nevansphotos.com (Houston photographer- family, engagement and senior portraits, event photography) chambers county children's portraits wallisville http://www.nickievansphotography.com/blog/2018/1/if-superman-were-a-cowboy---childrens-portraits-in-chambers-county Tue, 02 Jan 2018 23:36:18 GMT
Storms and rainbows - Thoughts about 2017 and the New Year http://www.nickievansphotography.com/blog/2018/1/storms-and-rainbows---thoughts-about-2017-and-the-new-year Thoughts about 2017 and the New Year--

I began this blog originally on Sept. 9. I never finished it, and finally forgot about it. But as 2018 begins, I wanted to return to the blog, re-write and post it.

On August 18, I posted these two photos on Facebook. I was leaving the University of Houston after a day of photography, and by the route I was taking home, I would be driving away from storms and into a beautiful blue sky crowned by a rainbow. I posted the photos because of the beauty in both scenes, the irony of Houston weather, and the metaphorical significance of that yin and yang sky. 

On Labor Day, not too long after, as I was driving home from the hospital after my grandmother's triple bypass surgery, I started thinking about that stormy Friday afternoon and how fitting it was for the recent past, beginning with July 1 (I'll come back to this). 

After the storm, rainbows will follow. Sometimes during the storm, a rainbow will briefly appear. One or the other may be brief and outweighed by the other. But we have to focus on all that comes with the rainbow. 

As 2017 came to an end, I began to see a lot of posts online where people were expressing happiness that 2017 was coming to an end. I felt the same way when I began this blog Sept. 9, but soon realized I shouldn't wish time away, when I really had so many blessings to count. Yes, 2017 had some major hardships. But in the midst of those storms, there were so many good things...or rainbows after the storms.

For me, 2017 began as a memorable year on Jan. 4, when I got a call asking if I'd like to attend the Super Bowl as a photographer's assistant. I tend to get frustrated with my career on and off, as it hasn't always turned out to be quite like I planned. But photography has gifted me with so many incredible experiences, and those are what keep me going through the stormier times. Within a few days of that call, I also booked a couple of pretty big jobs that kicked my work year into high gear. Professionally, 2017 was my best year yet!

From January to March, Roddy and I took a Dave Ramsey financial class at our church, which helped project us into a much healthier financial lifestyle. Luckily we weren't in financial trouble to begin with, but weren't necessarily the smartest spenders/savers either. Now, our future, regarding finances, is much more on track for success. On top of that, the class moved us to a different campus at our church, which introduced us to new people and opportunities. 

The rest of the first half of 2017 was mostly a "normal" year, or maybe slightly better than average. I really can't complain about anything in those six months. I had steady work and got to spend time with friends and family, including my first trip to Napa. I attended photography school in April, which is always a highlight of spring. June was a whirlwind of a month with a trip to Austin for my birthday at the surf park, followed by a trip to Florida as a volunteer for my church, and last, a third trip to Indiana/Illinois to see my best friend get married at Purdue, with a side trip to see a few sights in Chicago. 

Then the second half of 2017 blew in with quite the array of storms, both figurate and literal. 

On July 1st, as I was preparing for my day of photographing Kailey and Leo's wedding, I got one of those calls no one ever wants. My dad had fallen 18 feet onto concrete and was being Life Flighted to Memorial Hermann. Without going into full details of the day, my dad had multiple fractures including a few ribs, 6 vertebrae, left shoulder bone, breast bone and some facial fractures in his sinus area, plus a bad cut on his head. After being able to talk to my dad and see that he still had function in his arms and legs, I kissed my family goodbye and headed to the wedding. To say that day was stressful is an understatement.

But of all the things a person could find to complain about in a situation like that, I like to look at it as a miracle. My dad is alive and not paralyzed! Our family and friends, my parents' employers and their church were there every step of my dad's recovery process offering prayers, food, yard work, repairs, and more blessings than I can count. Additionally, I was able to successfully photograph a wedding the day of that accident with two amazing assistants/second shooters who kept me strong and focused on the day. The inner struggle of leaving my family to do my job was certainly a tough one, and I wouldn't have made it through without their help and God's blessings. 

Then another storm hit on August 19 when I had to say goodbye to my best 4-legged friend Lady. She was 15 years and 5 months old. My heart was broken, but again, the blessings of her life far outweighed the pain of her passing. Not many people have a pet for 15 years. In Lady's lifetime, she survived a water moccasin bite, being hit by a 4-wheeler, playing ball in the marsh on a regular basis and not being eaten by any gators, a trip to the pound after escaping from our yard, and in then end, six months of kidney failure before passing on.

Although I continue to miss my black and white ball of fur, I feel peace knowing that Lady is no longer suffering. The day I saw the rainbow, I felt like that storm/rainbow combination was a sign that it was her time, and it helped me accept that. I had about 24 more hours to love on her and to say goodbye. That, along with the timing of her passing, was a rainbow in itself. Had she passed any of the days previously, Roddy would have been in California for work, and I would have been dealing with that alone. If she had passed a week later, it would have been in the worst rainstorm in US history, which would have made a proper burial nearly impossible. Also, she would have hated to be here during that storm. Lots of good memories and photos of my best girl will be the little rainbows from here on out.

Next of course, two big horrible H words...Hurricane Harvey. That was devastating to the whole area of Southeast Texas and even further beyond. Although we had a close call at one point with the water rising to the same level as our porch, we were spared. Unfortunately many weren't so fortunate. My sister's house had 42-inches of water in it. I wouldn't wish such a disaster on my worst enemy. But again, the way the city of Houston rallied, and the way people came together to help one another, whether they were friends or strangers, whether they had the same or different skin color, religion, political view or class was a beautiful show of the goodness of humanity. 

I can't speak for my sister or my brother-in-law, but from my perspective, I saw God's hand in so many aspects of the aftermath of Harvey. My sister and brother-in-law had just enough time in their house to move all their valuables upstairs before it began flooding. They were picked up by a kind stranger in a boat, then driven by another kind stranger to my house to stay until the floodwaters receded. They had flood insurance! Probably 90% of the neighborhood didn't, because it was on the borderline of a flood plain and never had flooded previously. My parents' church friends (and other church-members my family didn't know) showed up to help demo. My sisters co-workers took loads of flooded clothes to their homes to disinfect and wash thoroughly. My brother-in-law's company sent people with food, muscles and supplies. My dad's company sent supplies. In the midst of chaos, blessings abound.

And the last storm of 2017 that really made me want to wish away the year was Sept. 3, when I received a call early in the morning to find out my grandmother had been Life Flighted to Houston with severe pneumonia, which turned out to actually have been a heart attack. More time in the hospital with more worries and fears. But again, there were so many blessings. The whole team of doctors working on my grandmother were amazing. They were all very personable, which set us all at ease. The lead surgeon for her triple bypass was trained under Dr. Red Duke, and he allowed our family to pray with him before her surgery. And now my 83-year-old Gran is back at it, substitute teaching, playing the piano and baking for all occasions.

For the rainbows in all of those storms, we give thanks. And on top of those blessings above, I'm thankful that Houston's beloved 'Stros won the World Series, I continue to get make my living as a photographer with the support of my No. 1 guy, Rowdy Roddy (he also makes sure I get to wakeboard quite a bit), I have a new healthy, baby cousin, and the recent holidays included spending time with almost all of our family and friends. 

So, while you may want to wish away the past and welcome the new year, maybe think about embracing it instead and giving thanks for the good. Hopefully the rainbows outweighed the storms for you last year, and will do so in the years to come. And through the hardships that will come in the future, maybe Isaiah 43:2 bring you peace as it has for me in the past year. Blessings in 2018!

]]>
nicki@nevansphotos.com (Houston photographer- family, engagement and senior portraits, event photography) personal http://www.nickievansphotography.com/blog/2018/1/storms-and-rainbows---thoughts-about-2017-and-the-new-year Tue, 02 Jan 2018 02:55:59 GMT
A win for love (and for the 'stros) - Wedding on a Chambers County ranch http://www.nickievansphotography.com/blog/2017/12/a-win-for-love-and-for-the-stros Wedding on a Chambers County ranch--

If you follow the blog regularly, then you met Haley and Jose a while back here, when I wrote about their engagement session. Fast forward to October and it was time to tie the knot. 

This fall wedding with a rustic, country theme was held on the ranch where their engagement portraits were made, just a bit south of my hometown in Double Bayou. It was a beautiful blue-sky day...just a tad bit hot ;) I wasn't quite sure what to expect for a wedding on a ranch, since this was someone's personal property and not a wedding venue. But as I drove up, I was thrilled to see the beautiful decorations that helped create a "pop-up" wedding venue on site. 

Following a lovely ceremony, the couple had a great reception at White's Park, which was also had a variety of fabulous decor-vignettes in every nook and cranny of the venue. There was never-ending music, starting with a mariachi band, and interspersed with a DJ and a second band. Guests enjoyed dancing the night away and donning funny faces in the photo booth.

To top off the evening, the Astros clenched a spot in the World Series during the reception :) You might notice a few celebration photos further down, as a few guests may have secretly (or not so secretly) been streaming the ball game on their phones. 

The wedding was a beautiful celebration of love, and the uniting of two families. 

Here's to happily ever after for the newlyweds...Haley and Jose! Congrats!

 

Last, thank you to all the creative teams and vendors who made this day possible including...

Hair: Blushing Allure

Makeup: Makeup by B

Dress: Princess Bridal, Allure Bridal

DJ: DJ Chato

Band: Texas Union Band

Cake: Sweet Me Cakes

Flowers: Anahuac Florist

Invitations: Minted.com

 Ceremony Decorations: Rustic Rose Wedding Rentals 

Reception Decorations: Shindigs & Such and Maci Ray Whittington 

And an extra special thanks to Lawrence Knox for backing me up as second photographer. Thanks for sweating through this 90-degree "fall" day, keeping tabs on the timeline and for all the creativity you bring to your photographs. Lawrence Knox Photography

 

Like on Facebook

Follow on Twitter

Follow on Instagram

]]>
nicki@nevansphotos.com (Houston photographer- family, engagement and senior portraits, event photography) tx anahuac chambers county double bayou weddings http://www.nickievansphotography.com/blog/2017/12/a-win-for-love-and-for-the-stros Fri, 22 Dec 2017 17:31:00 GMT
Location! Location! Location! - Christmas portraits at the beach http://www.nickievansphotography.com/blog/2017/12/location-location-location---christmas-portraits-at-the-beach  

Let's go to the beach, beach. Let's get away...

There are a lot of elements that going into the making of a great portrait. You know the saying about location? If not, it's an easy one to remember... "Location, location, location." :) The key here is that location is one of those elements that can help create the perfect feel or look for your portraits. 

Chelsea and Alex live in Galveston and spend lots of time on the beach, so it was only fitting that we made their portraits at the beach with their newest family member, Krash. Not only is Galveston fitting to their lifestyle, but the location near Pleasure Pier adds some nice color in the backdrop and the area allows for a variety of looks without walking too far.

Of course, an added bonus is the amazing sunsets offered when you have a clear view of the horizon. If you don't mind sticking around a little later for a set of sunset or twilight portraits, then you can add a completely different look to your portrait sessions. The last few photos in this engagement session are a good example of twilight portraits. 

When you are ready to book your next portrait session, whether you're a couple, family or an executive looking for something a bit different, keep the location in mind. Choose a location that fits your personality or brings back great memories for your family. And email nicki@nevansphotos.com to set up those portraits.

 

Like on Facebook

Follow on Twitter

Follow on Instagram

]]>
nicki@nevansphotos.com (Houston photographer- family, engagement and senior portraits, event photography) beach couples portraits galveston tx http://www.nickievansphotography.com/blog/2017/12/location-location-location---christmas-portraits-at-the-beach Tue, 12 Dec 2017 21:21:54 GMT
Wedding at a treehouse in the city? Done! - Fall wedding at The Grove Houston http://www.nickievansphotography.com/blog/2017/11/wedding-at-a-treehouse-in-the-city-done  

If you told me last year that I'd be photographing a wedding in a treehouse in downtown Houston, I'd probably have a hard time believing you. But I did indeed photograph an amazing wedding at "Treehouse" at The Grove in Houston, next to Discovery Green. 

This wedding was on a sunny Sunday afternoon in October, with bright blue skies. Although autumn didn't seem to be happening in Houston (it was about 95 degrees), the beautiful floral arrangements in fall colors set the scene for this outdoor ceremony, with the skyline as a backdrop. 

A couple of hours before the ceremony begin, I met Chaille and Michael for their first look (and my absolute favorite part of a wedding). The look on the groom's face as he sees his beautiful bride for the first time is the best! We chose a poolside location above the city for the first look, since that was where the couple first met. It was the perfect setting for portraits with all of the greenery and incredible landscaping.

Stunning! Isn't this dress fabulous??

After portraits, we headed to The Grove for the ceremony. The grandchildren of the bride kept me entertained throughout the day. I think they had more fun than anybody!

As the sun slowly began its decent, the ceremony on the rooftop commenced.

With a few prayers, good laughs, rings and "I Do," Chaille and Michael began their "happily ever after."

And following the ceremony, the new Mr. and Mrs. celebrated with close family and friends.

Here's to many more years of laughter and love! Congrats Michael and Chaille!

 

Thank you to all the creative teams and vendors who made this day possible including...

Bridal consultant: Schwartz & Woodward

Hair and makeup: Hair by Liz

Dress: Mia Bridal Couture

Alterations: Linda Couture

Music: University of Houston

Cake: Who Made the Cake

Flowers and linens: Blooming Gallery

Invitations: Katie & Co.

Venue and catering: The Grove Houston

 

Like on Facebook

Follow on Twitter

Follow on Instagram

]]>
nicki@nevansphotos.com (Houston photographer- family, engagement and senior portraits, event photography) tx houston weddings http://www.nickievansphotography.com/blog/2017/11/wedding-at-a-treehouse-in-the-city-done Thu, 09 Nov 2017 00:12:22 GMT
One year portraits, one year ago - First birthday and family portraits in Clear Lake http://www.nickievansphotography.com/blog/2017/9/one-year-portraits-one-year-ago---first-birthday-and-family-portraits-in-clear-lake First birthday and family portraits in Clear Lake--

This is a throwback post to a portrait session just about a year ago in one of my favorite Houston parks, Bay Area Park. Unfortunately the park was hit by the floods of Hurricane Harvey, as were many other great portrait locations in Houston. But hopefully the park won't be out of commission too long, so I can return to photograph more families this fall. As you can see in the portraits, it's a really beautiful location.

About three years ago, I met my friends out at Bay Area Park to photograph their then one year old daughter, Avery. Fast forward two years, and we returned to the same spot for little sister Raegan's one year portraits.

During her portraits, Raegan enjoyed playing with her big pink balloon, as well as checking out the flowers in the Bay Area Garden and reading a book with big sister Avery. If you visit Avery's one year portraits, you can tell she was totally not into the cake smash. We had to hide a Goldfish in the icing just to get her to touch the cake :) But Raegan was all over the cake, enjoying the icing and confetti candy on top too. I'm pretty sure Avery didn't mind getting a taste of the icing this time around. 

Hope you enjoy these one year portraits of Raegan, three year portraits of Avery and a few family portraits too. This was one of my favorite sessions last year, so I'm excited to finally share it!

It's a great time to start booking fall family portraits to use in your Christmas cards. If you have weekday availability, there are no session fees in October for sessions Monday through Friday. To book, email nevansphotos@gmail.com or call 409-267-1032. The special expires October 31, 2017.

Like on Facebook

Follow on Twitter

Follow on Instagram

]]>
nicki@nevansphotos.com (Houston photographer- family, engagement and senior portraits, event photography) baby portraits bay area park children's portraits clear lake family portraits http://www.nickievansphotography.com/blog/2017/9/one-year-portraits-one-year-ago---first-birthday-and-family-portraits-in-clear-lake Tue, 12 Sep 2017 22:11:55 GMT
Project 18: The Senior Portrait Challenge http://www.nickievansphotography.com/blog/2017/8/project-18-the-senior-portrait-challenge It's hot and football season is here. What does that mean in Houston? Obviously, it means it's the start of the fall school semester, so welcome to the beginning of the end, Class of 2018! You're wrapping up one chapter of life and preparing for the next. And how better to document that final year of K-12 school? (Ahem...other than an endless streak on Snapchat??) SENIOR PORTRAITS!

For the class of 2018, I wanted to do something out of the ordinary. I wanted seniors photographed by Nicki Evans Photography to experience something different than what I've heard of any other senior portrait photographers offering. It's a project of sorts to make epic senior portraits. And I'm calling it...

Project 18: The Senior Portrait Challenge

Do you want to be challenged to create the greatest senior portrait you've ever seen? I certainly do. So here's how it works. You, the senior, challenge me, the photographer, to create whatever senior portrait you want. Be creative! Think outside of the box! And the best part...if you aren't happy with the result, the session is on me. That's right. It's free!

I always try to meet and exceed the requests of my seniors and have made some pretty great images for them, like some of the senior portraits (and fun portraits of University of Houston students...shot for the Bauer College) below. But I want you to get even crazier with your ideas. Think of all the elements you could add to up the game on your senior portraits...water, smoke, paint, extreme action. The list could go on, so start making it.

   

For more details about Project 18, read below:

Project 18 sessions will be offered on weekdays only. You'll pay $100 plus tax up front to hold your session date and time. If you're unhappy with the result of your epic image, that $100 will go straight to any purchases you'd like to make from the session. The average senior order includes a piece of wall art, an album, a few gift prints for grandparents, and custom graduation announcements. If you are completely dissatisfied, you of course do not have to make any purchases and your $100 retainer will be returned. But I doubt that will happen, because my seniors love their portraits! If you'd prefer a weekend session, you can add $150 extra to your retainer fee, but that is non-refundable and does not go toward any purchases.

Normal senior portrait sessions last about 2 hours, with the chance to change outfits a few times and locations within reason. With your Project 18 session, you'll still get all of that, but we'll also focus a good amount of time on making that one epic image you've dreamed up. Depending on what that image entails, it may be at the beginning or end of the session, but you'll still get the variety of images that your standard senior session would offer, so you can also wear that letter jacket, favorite dress or uniform from an extracurricular activity.

There will be some restrictions on Project 18.
• All ideas/activities related to your portraits must be legal! P.S. Photos on railroads are not legal.
• If a location you choose requires a permit or fee, you will be in charge of paying that. 
• If the location is outside of a reasonable travel distance, travel fees may be charged.
• Safety of you, the senior, and I, the photographer, will be taken into consideration before any challenge is accepted.
• A session contract and model release must be signed when booking.
• The epic image idea must be pitched before the contract is signed, to ensure it aligns with Project 18.
• I, the photographer, will not handle or touch any snakes for Project 18.

Ready to book your Project 18 portrait session? Call 409-267-1032 or email nicki@nevansphotos.com to book your session now. Book your session anytime in 2017 and receive a free set of 50 soft-touch paper rep cards (This is seriously the best paper ever! And I don't sell rep cards, otherwise.). 

 

Like on Facebook

Follow on Twitter

Follow on Instagram

 

]]>
nicki@nevansphotos.com (Houston photographer- family, engagement and senior portraits, event photography) senior portraits http://www.nickievansphotography.com/blog/2017/8/project-18-the-senior-portrait-challenge Fri, 25 Aug 2017 21:07:32 GMT
Family portraits with furry friends - National Dog Day http://www.nickievansphotography.com/blog/2017/8/family-portraits-with-furry-friends---national-dog-day National Dog Day--

Did you know August 26 is National Dog Day? In my opinion, there's not much of a better reason to celebrate than for our furry friends. How will you celebrate?

You could buy your dog a new indestructible squeaky toy...although we know they'll all be destroyed anyway. You could spend a day at one of Houston's great dog parks playing fetch or frisbee. Maybe if you don't have a 4-legged friend yet, you could visit a rescue and save a life! Or you could do all of the above and put the cherry on top by having portraits made with your pup! Maybe I'm a bit biased, but who doesn't want to have a nice portrait with their pet?

One of my most prized possessions is a 30X40 Modern Art canvas of my husband and I with our three dogs hanging prominently in our living room. We even had it painted in the Masterpiece technique offered by Nicki Evans Photography. This portrait is more special now than when it was made, because since then, two of our dogs have passed away. Most of us will outlive our pets, but portraits that include them are something we can cherish for the rest of our lives. 

To celebrate National Dog Day, Nicki Evans Photography will offer a special for all pet lovers. Make a donation of $25 to Rescue Bank Houston (or a rescue/shelter of your choice) and receive 2 free 5X7 prints of you and your dog from your upcoming portrait session. Just show a receipt from your donation to claim the special. This offer is good for sessions booked through Sept. 26, 2017.

For a little inspiration, here are a few portraits made last year of two sisters and their fur-brother in Sesquicentennial Park off of Buffalo Bayou.

To book your portrait session with Fido or Lassie or whoever your furry friend may be, email nevansphotos@gmail.com or call 409-267-1032. The special expires September 26, 2017.

Like on Facebook

Follow on Twitter

Follow on Instagram

]]>
nicki@nevansphotos.com (Houston photographer- family, engagement and senior portraits, event photography) family portraits houston portraits with pets tx http://www.nickievansphotography.com/blog/2017/8/family-portraits-with-furry-friends---national-dog-day Mon, 14 Aug 2017 21:20:09 GMT
High school sweethearts wed - Wedding at Bethel Church in Houston http://www.nickievansphotography.com/blog/2017/8/high-school-sweethearts-wed Wedding at Bethel Church in Houston--

As your read this blog and browse through these photographs, you might recognize Kailey from the previous blog featuring her bridal portraits. Now, meet Kailey and Leo! 

Kailey and Leo and I go back quite a while..much further than a bridal session in June or them contacting me earlier to hire me to shoot their wedding. Actually, it was through photographing high school sports about 8 years ago or so that I connected with Leo.

I was a photojournalist for The Baytown Sun right after college for a few years. I regularly photographed sports for about 6 high schools, included Ross Sterling in Baytown. It was while photographing either softball or tennis, I think, at Sterling that I met Leo...a spunky kid with crazy hair, cruising around on a longboard with a camera. I don't remember exactly how he came to work for The Baytown Sun, maybe I asked him if he was interested or maybe he asked me about a job. Either way, Leo began stringing for us on Friday night to help me cover football, since I couldn't physically shoot five football games in one night by myself...although I'm pretty sure I covered three on a few occasions. At some point during that process, I met Kailey too, probably as Leo was dropping photos at the newsroom or picking up a check. Fast forward to late 2016, early 2017 and Leo was texting me about wedding photography. And the rest is history!

Like always, it's a great honor to photograph couples I've had the pleasure of meeting here or there in life. It's fun to catch up and see where life has taken them. In this case, it was a beautiful occasion to witness two high school sweethearts uniting in marriage in front of friends and family. The day was filled with love and laughter, as I imagine their marriage will be for many years to come.

Now, enjoy Kailey and Leo's wedding!

Praying for many blessings to the newlyweds! Congrats Mr. and Mrs. Leo Garcia!

 

A special thanks to Lawrence Knox for assisting me as second shooter throughout the day with a great photojournalist perspective and doing a killer job on knocking out the reception details. Another special thanks to Ronnie Izon for stepping in last minute to be my rock/third shooter/backup.

Thank you to all the creative teams and vendors who made this day possible including...

Hair and makeup: Santos and Amanda of Excellence Salon and Spa

Dress: Essense of Australia at Houston Bridal Gallery

Wedding singer: Jon Finney

Video: Reverent Media, Houston TX

DJ: DJ Ben Phoenix 

Caterer: Armenta's Mexican Restaurant

Cake: The Cake Box, Mont Belvieu

Flowers: Pedro at Flowers by Ashley

Invitations: Minted

Wedding Venue: Bethel of Houston

Reception Venue: Armenta's Reception Hall, Channelview

 

Like on Facebook

Follow on Twitter

Follow on Instagram

]]>
nicki@nevansphotos.com (Houston photographer- family, engagement and senior portraits, event photography) houston tx weddings http://www.nickievansphotography.com/blog/2017/8/high-school-sweethearts-wed Tue, 08 Aug 2017 16:16:52 GMT
A beautiful bride - Bridal portraits at Mercer Botanical Gardens http://www.nickievansphotography.com/blog/2017/7/a-beautiful-bride---bridal-portraits-at-mercer-botanical-gardens Bridal portraits at Mercer Botanical Gardens--

As I write this blog, I'm about 24 hours out from photographing Kailey and Leo's wedding. And by the time you read this, Kailey will have traded in the title of fiancé for wife. (Congrats Kailey and Leo!!)

I've been holding on to these photos for a few weeks now, and I'm so glad I can finally share them. After looking through a few, I'm sure you'll appreciate the reason I was so eager to share these. Kailey was a beautiful bride!! On top of that, she was a pleasure to photograph!

Kailey and I met earlier in June at Mercer Botanical Gardens for her bridal session. We were blessed with a fairly pleasant day, considering summers in Houston can be brutal. It was a nice 85 degrees with not too much humidity. We had blue skies, the scenery was super green, and there were tons of flowers in bloom. It was a beautiful day!

Visit this blog next, featuring Kailey and Leo's wedding photographs. And keep Nicki Evans Photography in mind for your bridal, engagement or wedding photographs. Email nevansphotos@gmail.com or 409-267-1032 to book your session or wedding.

Like on Facebook

Follow on Twitter

Follow on Instagram

]]>
nicki@nevansphotos.com (Houston photographer- family, engagement and senior portraits, event photography) bridal portraits houston tx humble mercer botanical gardens weddings http://www.nickievansphotography.com/blog/2017/7/a-beautiful-bride---bridal-portraits-at-mercer-botanical-gardens Sun, 02 Jul 2017 03:55:08 GMT
Country roads, take me home - Engagement portraits in Chambers County http://www.nickievansphotography.com/blog/2017/4/country-roads-take-me-home---engagement-portraits-in-chambers-county Engagement portraits in Chambers County--

Leaving the Houston area and crossing the Old and Lost River Bridge, not long after entering Chambers County, is a always a breath of fresh air. You exit the interstate to head to the part of Chambers County I call home and life seems to slow down a bit. As you wind your way south on the farm roads, the fields open up, and you can really appreciate the "Big Texas Sky."

On the day of Haley and Jose's engagement portraits in Chambers County, just south of Anahuac, we didn't get a lot of blue sky. But it really didn't matter. We had a happy couple ready to be photographed in beautiful setting of open, tree-lined fields, a pond with a fishing pier and a view of the bayou. Those are pretty great elements to create engagement portraits. And that, we did.

In a little over six months, we'll get to meet again at this beautiful ranch, where Haley and Jose will tie the knot in the lush fields surrounded by friends and family. Outdoor weddings are some of my favorite ones to photograph, and I can already picture how beautiful this wedding will be! 

And now the countdown begins for Haley and Jose's big day...

        

Like on Facebook

Follow on Twitter

Follow on Instagram

]]>
nicki@nevansphotos.com (Houston photographer- family, engagement and senior portraits, event photography) Chambers County Double Bayou couples portraits http://www.nickievansphotography.com/blog/2017/4/country-roads-take-me-home---engagement-portraits-in-chambers-county Wed, 12 Apr 2017 21:58:49 GMT
Keep your face to the sunshine - Anahuac senior portraits http://www.nickievansphotography.com/blog/2017/4/keep-your-face-to-the-sunshine---anahuac-senior-portraits Anahuac senior portraits--

"Keep your face to the sunshine and you cannot see the shadows. It's what sunflowers do!"

Early last fall, when Madelyne and I began planning her senior portraits, she had two main requests for her portraits: an old truck and sunflowers. I do my best to make each custom portrait session the best that it can be, but sometimes it requires a bit of creativity. Since fields of sunflowers are not typical of the Houston-area, and I don't own an old truck, I wasn't sure if I could meet the requests. Through a few favors and answered prayers, we made it happen. Of course, I pulled out a few extra stops for my cousin too :) 

A high school friend, who responded to my Facebook request for an old truck, provided this fabulous Ford. Don't let that patina paint job fool you for a second. Under the hood, this truck is in pristine condition.

An announcement of Madelyne's acceptance to Texas A&M was included in the session too. Our family is certainly proud to have another college-bound senior, and if our Papa was still here, he'd be beaming to have an Aggie granddaughter. Gig 'em!

To complete the request for sunflowers, we used a few silk flowers for props. A tiny field of yellow wildflowers next to a church parking lot made the perfect backdrop.

An old Ford tractor that sits behind the home where our grandmother grew up, was another great addition to the rustic look of Madelyne's portraits. I love the blue dress on blue tractor color combination.

Madelyne enjoyed a long-run as an AHS cheerleader, ending her cheer career as captain of the squad. 

Portraits along the bay bank of our grandparents' home, including a few with a killer sunset, wrapped up Madelyne's senior portrait session. It's always an honor to step behind my camera to capture a few moments in a life, and even more sweet when it's making portraits of my own family members.

Looking forward to seeing what God has in store for your future, Madelyne! Happy graduation...in less than two months! 

Like on Facebook

Follow on Twitter

Follow on Instagram

]]>
nicki@nevansphotos.com (Houston photographer- family, engagement and senior portraits, event photography) Anahuac, TX Chambers County senior portraits wildflowers http://www.nickievansphotography.com/blog/2017/4/keep-your-face-to-the-sunshine---anahuac-senior-portraits Tue, 11 Apr 2017 15:45:03 GMT
Sleeklens Photoshop Actions - A review http://www.nickievansphotography.com/blog/2017/3/sleeklens-actions---a-review Sleeklens.com contacted me a short time ago, asking if I would be interested in reviewing their Portrait Perfection collection that contains 56 Photoshop actions intended to enhance a photographer’s editing workflow when retouching portraits. So, I wanted to share a few of my thoughts after playing with the following three images (the left image is straight out of the camera and the right is edited).  

Installation was as simple as downloading the zip file onto my computer, double clicking the actions file, and then opening the info panel in Photoshop by selecting Actions from the Window menu. The process was about as intuitive and quick as it gets.  

Image 1:

I began with a base action, From Bright Sunny Days, and I was immediately impressed with the warmth it added to the image. The skin tones had a nice golden glow. Then, I darkened the exposure and added a touch of the vintage vignette, as well as a sunny light glow in the upper right corner. In the end, I added contrast (without using an action) because the image seemed a little too hazy.

Macintosh HD:Users:Knox:Desktop:Photos for Edit Blog:1.jpg

Image 2:

For the next image, I took a different approach and selected the From Cloudy Days base action, which added richness all around. I warmed the image and enhanced the tones using the Summer Love action. Being a bit closer up, I also played with the portrait retouch actions, which gave her lips a nice gloss, her eyes a little shine, and her skin a smooth look.

Macintosh HD:Users:Knox:Desktop:Photos for Edit Blog:2.jpg

Image 3:

Starting with the From Golden Hours base, I enhanced the tones with the Magic Garden action. I used a brown vignette and a soft warm glow, which added a beautiful color to the tops of the trees and created a greater sense of dimension. Lastly, the Rose Skin Brush gave her face and outer arm a beautiful glow. I like this brush better than the Soft Glow Skin that I used in the previous image, which seemed to darken the skin tone.

Macintosh HD:Users:Knox:Desktop:Photos for Edit Blog:3.jpg

Conclusion:

Overall, I do see where these actions are beneficial. One click of the mouse and your image changes quite drastically. However, if not careful, this can cause more harm than good. In my opinion, over-editing would be very easy to do when using this workflow. In all three of my images, I lowered the opacity of the base action to at least 75 percent. I set the opacity of the following actions much lower, generally around 20 or 30 percent. Even still, my edits appear more "Photoshopped" than usual (but perhaps this is due to my photojournalism background).

In a way, I feel as if this is cheating – not using Photoshop, but using actions. Yes, you have to adjust the actions, but I prefer to feel complete responsibility for my editing. Having said that, it completely depends on the type of job you are working on.

I do think it would be very helpful to use a mix of actions with manual editing to determine your style. There are a lot of actions in this collection, and it’s hard to know exactly how each action will change the look of your image without testing it first. For this reason, it may take awhile for you to establish your workflow, but in the long run, this certainly has the potential to be a time saver.  

Sleeklens.com has a variety of other collections, all custom-built for a specific purpose, whether you are shooting portraits or landscapes or whether you want an HDR look or a nostalgic vintage feel. To view all that Sleeklens offers, click here.

 

https://sleeklens.com/product/portrait-perfection-photoshop-actions/

https://sleeklens.com/product/professional-photo-editing-service/ 

https://sleeklens.com/product-category/photoshop-actions/

 

]]>
nicki@nevansphotos.com (Houston photographer- family, engagement and senior portraits, event photography) editing photoshop http://www.nickievansphotography.com/blog/2017/3/sleeklens-actions---a-review Mon, 13 Mar 2017 16:08:33 GMT
Can't rain on their parade - Fall wedding at Houston's The Gallery http://www.nickievansphotography.com/blog/2017/2/cant-rain-on-their-parade---fall-wedding-at-houston-s-the-gallery Fall wedding at Houston's The Gallery--

It seems like outdoor weddings are now almost more common than those held indoors. I do love a good outdoor wedding, but there's always the dread of rain...

The weather seemed to have mixed emotions on Jeremy and Jackie's wedding day. There would be pretty blue skies dotted with non-threatening clouds, then rain clouds would appear and a shower would begin. But if you were hanging out with either side of the wedding party, you'd never known there was a threat of rain. Everyone was having a great time while prepping for the festivities of the day. 

After a toast to the bride-to-be, and some teamwork to fasten all the buttons on Jackie's beautiful gown, it was time for the first look. 

    

The first look is always my favorite part of the wedding day. It's the first time the bride and groom see each other that day, emotions are raw, and the soon-to-be newlyweds can enjoy a little time to themselves before the hustle and bustle of the wedding begins. Also, the time after the first look is when some of the best photos of the day are made.

With the first look and bridal party portraits finished (just as another rain shower began), the couple enjoys some fun with the bridal party before the ceremony.

After the last rain shower, the skies parted, seats for the ceremony were quickly dried, and the outdoor wedding proceeded. 

There was so much love surrounding this ceremony. I don't think there was a dry eye left by the time the vows were read and the new Mr. and Mrs. were introduced. 

Time to start the party...

Wishing many happy moments and a blessed future for Jeremy and Jackie. Congrats!

Like on Facebook

Follow on Twitter

Follow on Instagram

]]>
nicki@nevansphotos.com (Houston photographer- family, engagement and senior portraits, event photography) Houston, TX The Gallery weddings http://www.nickievansphotography.com/blog/2017/2/cant-rain-on-their-parade---fall-wedding-at-houston-s-the-gallery Wed, 01 Feb 2017 16:41:12 GMT
The season of giving - Using photography to make a difference in a child's life http://www.nickievansphotography.com/blog/2016/12/the-season-of-giving---using-photography-to-make-a-difference-in-a-childs-life Using photography to make a difference in a child's life--

Throughout the year, I (along with numerous other photographers) are asked to shoot events and/or portraits for free. Sometimes the requests are for charitable events. Sometimes they are for groups who may not have much of a budget to spend, so they want to trade marketing/exposure for photography services. Although I don't feel like anyone is truly trying to take advantage of photographers, I also don't think people understand that shooting a couple hours worth of photos is not just that...a couple hours of work. There is so much more work that goes on behind the scenes to prepare for, work and then finish a two-hour job. 

Even though I'd love to help out each charitable cause that comes my way, it's just not possible to do so while also running a business and providing quality work for each client. I've found the best way for me and my business to give back to the community it to truly give from the heart.

"So let each one give as he purposes in his heart, not grudgingly or of necessity; for God loves a cheerful giver."
2 Corinthians 9:7

It really does make a huge difference when your whole heart is in it. I've noticed that in the past when I volunteered out of a feeling of responsibility (i.e. I'm free that day, have the gear to do the job, think I should help out a good cause), my heart wasn't in it, and I've almost ended up resenting the planner/event/cause even though I was the one who agreed to work for free. On the other hand, I've worked photographing for 12-hour stints in the middle of a Houston summer for a cause I truly embraced, and I did it with a smile all day. 

So now I'll get off my soapbox (I apologize) and tell you about a few causes for which I do love to give my time and talent.

The first event is called "Wake the World." Their slogan is, "Caring through sharing the gift of water sports." Wake the World events are held all over the US, and I've been blessed to help with the past two events in the Houston area. Boat owners throughout the community gather for a day to provide watersports opportunities to abandoned, abused and neglected children, most of whom are living in group homes. These kids get to spend the day tubing, wake boarding and swimming, and just being a care-free kid. Not only does it benefit the kids, but I think the boat owners enjoy sharing their passion of water sports with kids who may not otherwise have had that opportunity. Of course, if you know about my love for the water, then you know that this cause is the perfect avenue for me to give with a cheerful heart. 

The second organization is called "The Heart Gallery." This organization works to find forever families for children through direct recruitment opportunities and education of foster and adoptive families. At the core of this outreach is simply a picture. "But there is nothing simple about it; our volunteer photographers truly capture a child’s spirit in every shot. These pictures speak louder than words. They say, 'I’m here and I am special.'" Adoption is near and dear to me because my cousin Scott was adopted. Unfortunately he is no longer with us, as he was killed tragically in a car accident in 2015. But knowing that I might be able to make a difference to a child who needs to find their forever family is a great way to honor his memory.

And the third cause and feature act of this blog is "Flashes of Hope." This groups "honors the courage of children with cancer by capturing a moment in time and funding research so they will have the chance to create a lifetime of memories." I don't remember really knowing what cancer was until I was 12. I know I had heard about people having cancer before, but I just didn't understand that it was the worst six letter word in the English language. That year though, my mom's best friend was diagnosed with cancer, and she passed away within the year. It was my first experience with a broken heart, and I've feared that six letter word ever since.

Fast forward 15 years or so, and I found out about Flashes of Hope (FOH). In that time, more people than I can count had been diagnosed with cancer, including my dad. By the power of the Great Healer, my Lord and Savior, he is alive and well today...something I thank God for each and every day. After discovering FOH, I immediately applied to be a photographer. To make sure the participants get the best images possible, the organization is very picky about who they choose to be a photographer, with priority going to members of the American Society of Media Photographers  (ASMP). Unfortunately, I was not an ASMP member and therefore was not chosen. I told them I'd be happy to volunteer as an assistant to other photographers instead but never got a call to do that either.

About this time last year, I joined ASMP for various professional benefits and found that the local Houston chapter of ASMP is very active with FOH. I was reintroduced to the program, and ta da, was soon accepted to be one of their photographers at MD Anderson. Just a few days before Halloween, I had the opportunity to photograph my first group of kids for this great organization. 

I wasn't sure what to expect going in, but the whole day it felt like I was photographing your average kid from the local elementary or high school. By their big smiles, happy demeanor and wonderful families who laughed along with my corny jokes and goofy faces, you'd never know that these kids were sick.

It made me happy to see all of them in such good spirits. At the same time, it broke my heart to know that these kids were in fact sick. I hope when I return to photograph again at MD Anderson, I'll hear that all of these kids are well and in remission. After listening to the stories from the other volunteers, I know that won't necessarily be the case. But at least I know that through the great work Flashes of Hope is doing, more and more cancer research is being funded each day, and the families who participate will go home with beautiful photographs of their children to cherish for a lifetime. 

Take a moment and look at these photographs, say a prayer for the healing for these kids, and if you have a little extra to give back this Christmas season, consider giving to Flashes of Hope or another cause near and dear to your heart. 

  

Like on Facebook

Follow on Twitter

Follow on Instagram

Follow on Pinterest

]]>
nicki@nevansphotos.com (Houston photographer- family, engagement and senior portraits, event photography) Houston, TX black and white children's portraits http://www.nickievansphotography.com/blog/2016/12/the-season-of-giving---using-photography-to-make-a-difference-in-a-childs-life Fri, 09 Dec 2016 16:25:56 GMT
Oh Mercy, Mercer is beautiful! - Family portraits at Mercer Botanical Gardens http://www.nickievansphotography.com/blog/2016/11/oh-mercy-mercer-is-beautiful---family-portraits-at-mercer-botanical-gardens Family portraits at Mercer Botanical Gardens--

When the Ford family mentioned they would like to be photographed at Mercer Botanical Gardens in Humble, I was thrilled. It's a place I've heard about numerous times from other photographers, so I've always wanted to photograph there. And it was so worth it!! It's never-ending gardens with immaculate landscaping and a variety of sitting areas, fountains, walkways and more.

The combination of the beautiful fall colors, the perfectly coordinated outfits worn by the Fords, and of course, the Ford family themselves with their adorable daughter, made for some incredible family portraits. These were the perfect portraits to hang in their home and to show their love at Christmas by sending out cards to family and friends.

Consider Mercer Botanical Gardens for your next set of portraits...and of course, Nicki Evans Photography too. To book your family session, email nevansphotos@gmail.com.

Like on Facebook

Follow on Twitter

Follow on Instagram

Follow on Pinterest

]]>
nicki@nevansphotos.com (Houston photographer- family, engagement and senior portraits, event photography) couples portraits family portraits houston tx humble mercer botanical gardens http://www.nickievansphotography.com/blog/2016/11/oh-mercy-mercer-is-beautiful---family-portraits-at-mercer-botanical-gardens Wed, 16 Nov 2016 18:34:47 GMT