The Heart Gallery – The gift of photography, Part 2

Faces, Giving

The gift of photography, Part 2
by Houston commercial photographer – Nicki Evans Photography

Over the summer, I had the opportunity to photograph children for the the Heart Gallery,  for the second time in as many years. I, along with a few other Houston photographers, have partnered up with this group through the Houston chapter of the American Society of Media Photographers (ASMP), as a way of giving back to the community.

The goal of our annual day with the Heart Gallery is to provide photographs that capture the personality of each child, so that families looking to adopt can get a brief glimpse into the hearts of these children. A professional portrait with a smile or laugh can go a lot further on a website than a biography alone, when potential adoptive families are looking to adopt.

On top of providing the adoptive agencies with a portrait, another goal of the day is to provide a fun outing for the kids to enjoy. The past two years, we’ve setup for portraits at Lakewood Church. Volunteers with the church have had a variety of games for the kids to play, like oversized Jenga, Connect Four and checkers. And a plethora of snacks are on hand for the children as well. Our part as photographers, in addition to capturing great expressions and delivering images to the agency, is to help the kids feel special…like a star of the show, with the spotlight on only them for just a few minutes.

The Heart Gallery portrait day is always a win-win, with everyone walking away better for participating.

Below is a sample of images from the group of kids I photographed. NEvansPhotos_Houston_TX_Wedding_Photographer_Portraits_Anahuac_Texas_Whites_Park_Events_Nicki_Evans_Photography_Haley_Jose_B_0054
This guy tried to play serious, but I was able to get a few laughs and smirks out of him eventually.NEvansPhotos_Houston_TX_Wedding_Photographer_Portraits_Anahuac_Texas_Whites_Park_Events_Nicki_Evans_Photography_Haley_Jose_B_0055NEvansPhotos_Houston_TX_Wedding_Photographer_Portraits_Anahuac_Texas_Whites_Park_Events_Nicki_Evans_Photography_Haley_Jose_B_0057NEvansPhotos_Houston_TX_Wedding_Photographer_Portraits_Anahuac_Texas_Whites_Park_Events_Nicki_Evans_Photography_Haley_Jose_B_0058
The whole time I photographed this twin, I was thinking of Bill Hader from Saturday Night Live. He had that eyebrow raise on par!NEvansPhotos_Houston_TX_Wedding_Photographer_Portraits_Anahuac_Texas_Whites_Park_Events_Nicki_Evans_Photography_Haley_Jose_B_0059Isn’t this boy adorable? I can totally see him in a Gap ad. NEvansPhotos_Houston_TX_Wedding_Photographer_Portraits_Anahuac_Texas_Whites_Park_Events_Nicki_Evans_Photography_Haley_Jose_B_0056
My initial plan with the portraits was to do a standard portrait on teal, then a set of images on different colored backdrops with the kids making funny faces. This little dude was the only one who wanted to go along with my funny face plan. I think he had the most fun!NEvansPhotos_Houston_TX_Wedding_Photographer_Portraits_Anahuac_Texas_Whites_Park_Events_Nicki_Evans_Photography_Haley_Jose_B_0060

To read the first installment of this blog series, visit:
Flashes of Hope – The gift of photography, Part 1

Nicki Evans Photography – 2017
Have camera. Will travel.

Nicki Evans Photography – Houston, TX – Commercial Photographer

Up, up and away – The Great Texas Balloon Race

personal, travel

The Great Texas Balloon Race
by Houston commercial photographer – Nicki Evans Photography

For quite a few years I’ve wanted to attend the Great Texas Balloon Race in Longview, TX. Every year, when it finally shows up on my radar, I realize I already have something planned for that weekend and can’t make it. So last year, as soon as I knew the 2016 dates, I went ahead and put it on my calendar.

As the weekend approached, the weather was a little questionable. But since it was only about a 20-30% chance of rain, my husband and I decided to go ahead and make the trip. We arrive Saturday midday, visited some family, grabbed a Jucys Burger (famous in East Texas) then headed over to the airport early to make sure we had good access to the balloon glow.

The balloon glow was my main reason for wanting to attend this event. I’ve always thought the sight of hot air balloons against a blue sky was beautiful. But to see them all lit up at night…I was like a kid in a candy store, just thinking about the beautiful photos I would make.

As we approached the airport, the sky was starting to cloud up a bit, but the forecast still looked to be in our favor. We parked and began walking in, only to reach the gate and find out the balloon glow had been canceled. Long story, short…we ended up being stuck in a parking lot during a thunderstorm for about an hour, trying to exit the airport with not much luck, and we didn’t get to see the balloon glow.

We were both pretty disappointed but still wanted to make the best of the weekend. We decided to wake up early Sunday morning to watch the actual balloon race, so we could at least see some balloons. I’m not much of an early riser. I rise for wake boarding, vacation and taking photos…that’s it. This early morning turned out to be worth it though, because I was able to experience something new and photograph it too.

nevansphotos_tx_houston_photographer_editorial_commercial_advertising_hot_air_balloon_great_texas_balloon_race_nicki_evans_photography-1_0003
It took a few minutes before we began seeing balloons. This was the lone balloon for quite a while. He led the race by quite a large span.nevansphotos_tx_houston_photographer_editorial_commercial_advertising_hot_air_balloon_great_texas_balloon_race_nicki_evans_photography-1_0001nevansphotos_tx_houston_photographer_editorial_commercial_advertising_hot_air_balloon_great_texas_balloon_race_nicki_evans_photography-1_0005
Then, before you knew it, there were about 30 balloons all heading our direction.nevansphotos_tx_houston_photographer_editorial_commercial_advertising_hot_air_balloon_great_texas_balloon_race_nicki_evans_photography-1_0009nevansphotos_tx_houston_photographer_editorial_commercial_advertising_hot_air_balloon_great_texas_balloon_race_nicki_evans_photography-1_0006
As a sidebar to the race, a target drop is held along the “racetrack.” Each balloon pilot tries to drop a marker in a target area for extra prize money. If they are really on track, they can try their hand at tossing a ring onto a pole for even more money. nevansphotos_tx_houston_photographer_editorial_commercial_advertising_hot_air_balloon_great_texas_balloon_race_nicki_evans_photography-1_0014nevansphotos_tx_houston_photographer_editorial_commercial_advertising_hot_air_balloon_great_texas_balloon_race_nicki_evans_photography-1_0012nevansphotos_tx_houston_photographer_editorial_commercial_advertising_hot_air_balloon_great_texas_balloon_race_nicki_evans_photography-1_0017
As I was photographing this balloon, I noticed something wasn’t quite right. Then I heard the crowd start chattering and gasping a bit. The balloon was on fire. In the few seconds where there were actual flames, I was thinking like a photojournalist + getting a little scared that this balloon was going to engulf in flames and fall out of the sky right in front of me + praying that this guy would be okay. Luckily, prayers were answered, and the fire was gone quickly. The pilot made a safe landing a few hundred yards away. It was a bit scary for a few seconds though.nevansphotos_tx_houston_photographer_editorial_commercial_advertising_hot_air_balloon_great_texas_balloon_race_nicki_evans_photography-1_0013
On a happier note, there was a penguin-shaped balloon. Now you’re smiling, right? nevansphotos_tx_houston_photographer_editorial_commercial_advertising_hot_air_balloon_great_texas_balloon_race_nicki_evans_photography-1_0011nevansphotos_tx_houston_photographer_editorial_commercial_advertising_hot_air_balloon_great_texas_balloon_race_nicki_evans_photography-1_0015nevansphotos_tx_houston_photographer_editorial_commercial_advertising_hot_air_balloon_great_texas_balloon_race_nicki_evans_photography-1_0016nevansphotos_tx_houston_photographer_editorial_commercial_advertising_hot_air_balloon_great_texas_balloon_race_nicki_evans_photography-1_0010
Hope you enjoyed my trip to the Great Texas Balloon Race. Maybe I’ll have to add the Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta to my travel list next.

Nicki Evans Photography – 2016
Have camera. Will travel.

Nicki Evans Photography – Houston, TX – Commercial Photographer

Photos + emotions = Emotos

Faces

Emotos
by Houston commercial photographer – Nicki Evans Photography

Not too long ago, if you wanted to smile in a text message or email, you typed a colon and closed parenthesis, like this 🙂 Then emojis came along and advanced things quite a bit with colorful little smiley faces, hand signs, creatures and more. And now there are Bitmojis and probably a plethora more of customizable cartoons to portray your emotions via text, Snapchat or various social media platforms.

So along with emojis, I threw in a bit of Andy Warhol and The Brady Bunch to create a series of portraits that show emotions and/or the various faces we make…Emotos.

NEvansPhotos_Senior_Portraits_Head_Shots_Fun_Photography_Class_Of_2017_Nicki_Evans_Photography_Houston-8_0011NEvansPhotos_Senior_Portraits_Head_Shots_Fun_Photography_Class_Of_2017_Nicki_Evans_Photography_Houston-8_0012NEvansPhotos_Senior_Portraits_Head_Shots_Fun_Photography_Class_Of_2017_Nicki_Evans_Photography_Houston-8_0013

Nicki Evans Photography – 2016
Have camera. Will travel. 

Nicki Evans Photography – Houston, TX – Commercial Photographer