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

Flashes of Hope – The gift of photography, Part 1

Faces, Giving

The gift of photography, Part 1
by Houston commercial photographer – Nicki Evans Photography

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

One cause that really speaks to my heart 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.” 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 Flashes of Hope (FOH). I applied to be a volunteer photographer and was soon accepted to the MD Anderson chapter. 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 of 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.

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Nicki Evans Photography – 2016
Have camera. Will travel.

Nicki Evans Photography – Houston, TX – Commercial Photographer