Banff, Canada – Landscape photographs from a recent vacation

personal, travel

Landscape photographs from a recent vacation
by Houston commercial photographer – Nicki Evans Photography

My husband and I, with a group of friends, traveled to Banff, Canada earlier this month. If you haven’t had a chance to venture that way, I’d highly recommend it. The country (at least the small part we were able to see) is full of beauty in every direction.

Lake Louise is probably one of the most recognizable features in Banff. We thought it was so nice that we visited twice. The first day was rainy and overcast with a few glimpses of sunlight here and there. Since I’m pregnant with twins, I wasn’t able to hike up the trails for any upper views, so I trekked around the lake with my camera for the lower elevation views while the rest of our crew did the teahouse hike. Being from Houston, I’m always amazed to see such beautiful colors in water and how many shades of blue and green you can find, depending on the location and the light.

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Another favorite on our trip was the gondola ride to the top of Sulphur Mountain. I wouldn’t recommend it for those with fears of heights, but we loved it. The views from the lookout points at the top were incredible. You could see the whole little town, the castle-like Fairmont Banff Springs hotel, the Bow River, Lake Minnewanka and miles and miles of mountains. Luckily, we were able to enjoy this little touristy gem on a sunny day. We wished we could have caught the full sunset, but the last gondola back down the mountain is about 9:15 p.m. and the sun didn’t set until 10 p.m.NEvansPhotos_Travel_Photographer_Banff_Alberta_Canada_Houston_Landscape_Nicki_Evans_Photography-7
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After visiting Johnston Canyon for a shorter hike the next day, we were close enough to go back to Lake Louise to see it on a blue sky, sunny day. We didn’t stay long on this visit, but it was worth it to see the lake again while the sun was shining. If you didn’t see the snow in that second image, I bet you could be fooled into thinking it was the Caribbean.NEvansPhotos_Travel_Photographer_Banff_Alberta_Canada_Houston_Landscape_Nicki_Evans_Photography-10NEvansPhotos_Travel_Photographer_Banff_Alberta_Canada_Houston_Landscape_Nicki_Evans_Photography-11And last, I’m throwing in a wildlife image. Since it isn’t a landscape, it’s the oddball of the blog. But we were able to see quite a bit of wildlife on the trip…a few black bears, lots of deer, some elk, chipmunks and a fox. The black bear was my favorite animal that we spotted, but this elk was our best wildlife sighting that I could capture with my 70-200. NEvansPhotos_Travel_Photographer_Banff_Alberta_Canada_Houston_Landscape_Nicki_Evans_Photography-12

Nicki Evans Photography – 2018
Have camera. Will travel. 

Nicki Evans Photography – Houston, TX – Commercial Photographer

Play and praise! – Second Baptist’s Beach Retreat in Pensacola, FL

Events, Giving, travel

Second Baptist’s Beach Retreat in Pensacola, FL
by Houston commercial photographer – Nicki Evans Photography

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This summer, I took on a new challenge while trying to get more involved with my church (Second Baptist Church Houston). I signed up to be a condo leader on the church’s high school Beach Retreat in Pensacola, FL. I’ve always heard great things about how lives are changed each year at the retreat, so I threw my name in the hat hoping that I too might make a difference in even one kid’s life.

I was pretty nervous going into the trip, because I had never been a chaperone of any kind in the past. But alas, I survived!

The trip there and back was two full days on a bus, with many bus rides in between. We had some sun and rain, and lots and lots of sand. I saw laughter and tears, high-fives and hugs.

The best part of the trip though, was witnessing lives being changed. Over 450 high school students (and a few adults too) made professions of faith and were baptized. It was a beautiful thing to witness!

Being a photographer, I, of course, couldn’t leave home without my camera. So I have quite a nice collection of photos to share from the trip.

Enjoy!

SILENT SOUNDSNEvansPhotos_Beach_Retreat_Houston_Second_Baptist_Woodway_Event_Photographer_Portofino_Resort_Pensacola_Florida_Nicki_Evans_Photography_Blog_0005NEvansPhotos_Beach_Retreat_Houston_Second_Baptist_Woodway_Event_Photographer_Portofino_Resort_Pensacola_Florida_Nicki_Evans_Photography_Blog_0003NEvansPhotos_Beach_Retreat_Houston_Second_Baptist_Woodway_Event_Photographer_Portofino_Resort_Pensacola_Florida_Nicki_Evans_Photography_Blog_0006NEvansPhotos_Beach_Retreat_Houston_Second_Baptist_Woodway_Event_Photographer_Portofino_Resort_Pensacola_Florida_Nicki_Evans_Photography_Blog_0007NEvansPhotos_Beach_Retreat_Houston_Second_Baptist_Woodway_Event_Photographer_Portofino_Resort_Pensacola_Florida_Nicki_Evans_Photography_Blog_0002

BEACH AND BAY PLAYNEvansPhotos_Beach_Retreat_Houston_Second_Baptist_Woodway_Event_Photographer_Portofino_Resort_Pensacola_Florida_Nicki_Evans_Photography_Blog_0036NEvansPhotos_Beach_Retreat_Houston_Second_Baptist_Woodway_Event_Photographer_Portofino_Resort_Pensacola_Florida_Nicki_Evans_Photography_Blog_0012NEvansPhotos_Beach_Retreat_Houston_Second_Baptist_Woodway_Event_Photographer_Portofino_Resort_Pensacola_Florida_Nicki_Evans_Photography_Blog_0013NEvansPhotos_Beach_Retreat_Houston_Second_Baptist_Woodway_Event_Photographer_Portofino_Resort_Pensacola_Florida_Nicki_Evans_Photography_Blog_0014NEvansPhotos_Beach_Retreat_Houston_Second_Baptist_Woodway_Event_Photographer_Portofino_Resort_Pensacola_Florida_Nicki_Evans_Photography_Blog_0015NEvansPhotos_Beach_Retreat_Houston_Second_Baptist_Woodway_Event_Photographer_Portofino_Resort_Pensacola_Florida_Nicki_Evans_Photography_Blog_0016NEvansPhotos_Beach_Retreat_Houston_Second_Baptist_Woodway_Event_Photographer_Portofino_Resort_Pensacola_Florida_Nicki_Evans_Photography_Blog_0018NEvansPhotos_Beach_Retreat_Houston_Second_Baptist_Woodway_Event_Photographer_Portofino_Resort_Pensacola_Florida_Nicki_Evans_Photography_Blog_0037

ON THE MOVE

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WORSHIPNEvansPhotos_Beach_Retreat_Houston_Second_Baptist_Woodway_Event_Photographer_Portofino_Resort_Pensacola_Florida_Nicki_Evans_Photography_Blog_0048NEvansPhotos_Beach_Retreat_Houston_Second_Baptist_Woodway_Event_Photographer_Portofino_Resort_Pensacola_Florida_Nicki_Evans_Photography_Blog_0039NEvansPhotos_Beach_Retreat_Houston_Second_Baptist_Woodway_Event_Photographer_Portofino_Resort_Pensacola_Florida_Nicki_Evans_Photography_Blog_0045NEvansPhotos_Beach_Retreat_Houston_Second_Baptist_Woodway_Event_Photographer_Portofino_Resort_Pensacola_Florida_Nicki_Evans_Photography_Blog_0040NEvansPhotos_Beach_Retreat_Houston_Second_Baptist_Woodway_Event_Photographer_Portofino_Resort_Pensacola_Florida_Nicki_Evans_Photography_Blog_0053NEvansPhotos_Beach_Retreat_Houston_Second_Baptist_Woodway_Event_Photographer_Portofino_Resort_Pensacola_Florida_Nicki_Evans_Photography_Blog_0044NEvansPhotos_Beach_Retreat_Houston_Second_Baptist_Woodway_Event_Photographer_Portofino_Resort_Pensacola_Florida_Nicki_Evans_Photography_Blog_0049NEvansPhotos_Beach_Retreat_Houston_Second_Baptist_Woodway_Event_Photographer_Portofino_Resort_Pensacola_Florida_Nicki_Evans_Photography_Blog_0046NEvansPhotos_Beach_Retreat_Houston_Second_Baptist_Woodway_Event_Photographer_Portofino_Resort_Pensacola_Florida_Nicki_Evans_Photography_Blog_0051NEvansPhotos_Beach_Retreat_Houston_Second_Baptist_Woodway_Event_Photographer_Portofino_Resort_Pensacola_Florida_Nicki_Evans_Photography_Blog_0028

THE MESSAGE AND RESPONSENEvansPhotos_Beach_Retreat_Houston_Second_Baptist_Woodway_Event_Photographer_Portofino_Resort_Pensacola_Florida_Nicki_Evans_Photography_Blog_0054NEvansPhotos_Beach_Retreat_Houston_Second_Baptist_Woodway_Event_Photographer_Portofino_Resort_Pensacola_Florida_Nicki_Evans_Photography_Blog_0029NEvansPhotos_Beach_Retreat_Houston_Second_Baptist_Woodway_Event_Photographer_Portofino_Resort_Pensacola_Florida_Nicki_Evans_Photography_Blog_0030

BAPTISMNEvansPhotos_Beach_Retreat_Houston_Second_Baptist_Woodway_Event_Photographer_Portofino_Resort_Pensacola_Florida_Nicki_Evans_Photography_Blog_0031NEvansPhotos_Beach_Retreat_Houston_Second_Baptist_Woodway_Event_Photographer_Portofino_Resort_Pensacola_Florida_Nicki_Evans_Photography_Blog_0033NEvansPhotos_Beach_Retreat_Houston_Second_Baptist_Woodway_Event_Photographer_Portofino_Resort_Pensacola_Florida_Nicki_Evans_Photography_Blog_0032NEvansPhotos_Beach_Retreat_Houston_Second_Baptist_Woodway_Event_Photographer_Portofino_Resort_Pensacola_Florida_Nicki_Evans_Photography_Blog_0034

CELEBRATIONNEvansPhotos_Beach_Retreat_Houston_Second_Baptist_Woodway_Event_Photographer_Portofino_Resort_Pensacola_Florida_Nicki_Evans_Photography_Blog_0035

If you need photography at your next event in Houston or beyond, contact me, Nicki, to set up your event photography. nicki@nevansphotos.com

Nicki Evans Photography – 2016
Have camera. Will travel. Just add water.

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.

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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

A love affair with water, Part 2 – Get Salty

personal, Recreation, travel

Get Salty
by Houston commercial photographer – Nicki Evans Photography

If this is the first you’re hearing of my love affair, you might want to hear the full story. So start here: A love affair with water, Part 1 – Get Fresh 

If not, thanks for visiting my fresh blog. Now it’s time to add a little salt.

Like mentioned in my previous blog, I was born into this water life. I have memories of visiting the local Texas beaches as a kid, playing in the surf and picking up seashells. From a young age, I was always fascinated with surfing but don’t know what brought that on. For my family, the salt life was more about fishing than surfing. Maybe a movie or magazine article inspired that wonder.

But I think when I really became a saltwater soul was around age 10 or 12. We took a family trip to Pensacola, FL for my parents to go scuba diving. It was my first taste of white sand and blue-green, clear water. I was hooked.

Since then, I’ve been taking any chance I have to get away to those blue waters.

One of my favorite trips was to Ventura, CA, where my husband was working on a 6-week project. I flew out to spend 10 days with him. On the days when my husband was working, I would hop on my rental bike and just cruise around town, soaking up the West Coast life, reading on the beach and taking photos. It was pretty sweet!

Like with my wake boarding images, most of my beach photographs are from personal vacations, but I’d love to branch out with that type of photography as well and be able to work on some projects with those living the saltwater lifestyle. Whether it be surfing, sailing, kiteboarding or fishing, I’d love to follow the sun, capturing the magic that occurs within the deep blue.

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Nicki Evans Photography – 2016
Have camera. Will travel. Just add water.

Nicki Evans Photography – Houston, TX – Commercial Photographer