Texas Christian University | Class of 2018 | College Senior Photographer

Hello Everyone! 

In just a few days I will be on VACAY!!!  Woohooo!!!   Normally summer is rather slow for me, but not this one.  I have done my best to keep up with the kids activities, catch up with friends and family that get a little neglected in the Spring.   I even managed a couple of family emergencies and still ran a business!  I will not lie...there is a feeling of "boss babe" hitting me now and I am so happy to wear the crown! ha! ha!  

I couldn't be more excited to share today's blog post!  This one is LONG overdue!  Sometimes I am asked what we do in the event of weather or equipment issues, etc.   First of all, we take a deep breath and remember, a guarantee is a guarantee!  No matter what the circumstance, we will make the session happen, even if it occurs over a course of a few days or months even!    Rarely does this occur (well, last year weather was my worst nightmare -a.k.a. Harvey and Snow on 2 different occasions, which NEVER happens!) but it does happen on occasion and that is why I allow backup dates for sessions.    This year, was a new year for me in that college senior sessions have become more common.   It is so exciting to offer these sessions because not only does it cap off your time at college but it also shows off the next stage in your journey and this time as a truly legit adult! Ha! Ha!  There is a little more freedom with these sessions and so the possibilities are endless! 

Four years ago, I didn't offer nearly what I offer now.   Hair and makeup was not something we did and the " Senior Experience" had not become my niche'.  I was still photographing families and really anything that moved!   Fast forward to 2017 and 2018, plus a few college graduates that want to capitalize making up for not having it the first time around, add  their university as a backdrop and boom...you have a "Collegiate Senior Experience" that includes mine and Ashley's travel to YOUR UNIVERSITY for a session like no other!   

That little bit of information leads me directly to today's blog post!  Meet Lindsay Shabet!  Lindsay's senior session took place in 2014.   Her session was epic even in the year that we didn't really have all the "extra".  Lindsay attended Seven Lakes High School and achieved the titled of State Champion for her swimming skills (breast stroke)!   There was no doubt that we would be highlighting her abilities; thus in the pool we went!  Lindsay, along with 3 others made my afternoon a blast and we captured some incredible photos.   All of the swimmers were so talented and on a side note, 2 of them are even set to get married in a few months!  Lindsay's swimming abilities directed her path to obtain a swimming scholarship and attend Texas Christian University; however, she never let swimming define her as a young woman, it only made her stronger, determined and confident in how her future would play out.  Although swimming made a mark in her history, this amazing young woman has graduated TCU and plans to attend graduate school at Oklahoma University with the ultimate goal being a Master's in Speech Pathology at the Oklahoma University Science Center.  

While planning Lindsay's session we endured the probability that it would pour down rain.  We literally were planning up until the night before departure to Fort Worth.   To say we weathered the storm is soooo true!  We timed everything around the storm and went on faith!  Thank God we did, because we had the most beautiful sunny afternoon for her session. 

I cannot begin to tell you how much fun we had!  Our only issue ended up being a problem with one of my lenses.   However, we managed to use the pool at TCU for all of the above water shots and only had to do a "redo" for the underwater" which really boiled down to a few.    As I said, "where there is a will there is a way"...and we made it happen!     We carried equipment thru pouring rain, popped champagne on the steps of the main building and she even kissed a frog!  This session was fantastic from start to finish!   

Congratulations Lindsay on your recent college graduation and the amazing new opportunities headed your way!  I couldn't be more proud!  As tradition has it....we are up for another Times Square Jumbotron Display....so who knows, send a tweet and let's see what happens!!  Thank you so much to The Shabet Family, you guys have such a special place in my heart and always will. So proud of you Lindsay and l have no doubt your future is going to be bright; because you are a blessing to all that meet you!  xo  Nikki 

Dog Mini Session | Senior Mini Session | Katy Senior Photographer

Hello Everyone!
It is funny how life works.  Occasionally there are people that walk into your life and there is a connection beyond the initial encounter.  A few years ago I met my friend Vicki while photographing an event for our Katy area.   Immediately I knew there was something that drew me to her (aside from just photographing her daughters).   She is just one of the most selfless people I have ever met.  When she sees a need, she fills it.  I wish so much I could be like her!   She has raised (still one left :-))  incredible daughters that are all so talented and they have the sincerest qualities about them.  Each differrent in their own way. 

Initially when I decided to test out "athlete & pet" mini sessions, I was planning to focus on the "athlete" (doing their pose with their fur baby).    However, after my time with Kiersten and Duke, it seemed fitting that documenting some special moments with her "furever" friend is more appropriate than ever, regardless of whether she was doing a cheerleader type action (Kiersten's high school sport). 

I also thought of all my friends that are prepping for their son or daughter to head to college and I said a little prayer.  Then, in a split second it occurred to me that as all of the moms and dads are dealing with the idea of their child (who is now an adult) headed to college, we really overlook the "furry friends" and the adjustment these sweet treasures will have to endure.    We take for granted the eager wagging of the tail after each reunion.  Whether you have been gone for 5 minutes, 5 days or 5 weeks, these happy pets long for that look in the eye and pat on the head (or in some cases rubbing of the belly!!!).   They have spent countless moments by a sick kiddo, they have cuddled next to their human during a breakup or loss and finally- have been at your feet during long nights studying.   They are such a source of comfort for their humans.  

With that said, love on the furbabies a little longer, let them have a special treat and remember, they have no way of speaking their concerns or fears.  They will need a little extra love while they adjust to their new normal.     A love between a child and their pet is beautiful and so special.  Be patient and just like you, your furry friends will adjust also!  Of course, as  Kiersten demonstrated, a little fancy waltz is always a fabulous gesture for a last dance before college! 

A little about Duke.  Duke is a "Schnoodle"( part labradoodle and schnauzer) .  He has a bow tie in a ton colors that his human owns.    I also know that these two have such a special bond and ensuring the memories are documented was sooo important. I know that their long distance relationship will endure. Each time Kiersten opens the door from being away she is going to have the sweets slobbery kisses waiting for her!  

On this shoot day Kiersten's "Duke" was celebrating his birthday -either his 3rd or 4th.   So a little party had to happen!  I love this sweet duo and am happy that this session brought a little light on a topic that could easily overlooked.  

Are you worried about missing your furry friend?  We may be offering more of these soon if there is enough interest.  A portion of the proceeds will go to CAPS.   :-) 

Duke and Kiersten did an incredible job!  I am happy to share the images so make sure you scroll down! Nikki

DANCE MINI SESSIONS | TAYLOR HIGH SCHOOL | SEVEN LAKES HIGH SCHOOL | HOUSTON DANCE PHOTOGRAPHER

Hi Everyone!  

Summertime is always fun ! My schedule during the summer allows me a chance to offer mini sessions that all ages can participate in plus allows me to enjoy a little more creative freedom.  

Earlier in the spring I was contacted by two moms within two days of each other, both requesting dance mini sessions.   Dance minis are a personal favorite!!  You would need to live under a rock to not know that! ha!  Due to timing constraints, etc I couldn't offer it up to others and managed to work it out where they could share studio space.   It is always best when there are several because it cuts costs down for everyone.   This just worked perfect because they both wanted the sessions about the same time.   Neither of them knowing the other.  

What a fabulous afternoon we had!   I was grateful that Alexandra and Natasha (sisters from Seven Lakes High School) joined me along with Jennifer the new Colonel for Taylor High School's dance team.   Between the 3 of them, I certainly learned some new moves! ha! ha! Just kidding! Well, maybe they learned from me what NOT to do since when I would try to show them a pose they laughed?  I digress....hmmmm....anyway, not to fault them for that at all because honestly I am sure they were laughing with me and not AT me!!!  ha! ha!  These 3 ladies were incredible to watch and certainly a joy to capture on camera. 

Are you interested in a dance mini session?  Let me know.  If I have enough folks and time available I am up for another round.   :-)   

Enjoy today's blog and of course as always our ever faithful Ashley for her mad talent of hair and makeup. 

Enjoy! -Nikki

CLASS OF 2019 MODEL TEAM | MODEL TEAM SESSION | KATY SENIOR PHOTOGRAPHER

Hello Everyone!  

Class of 2019 is starting off strong!  Two blogs ago I introduced my Class of 2019 Model Team with a little "All Star Twist".   Since Houston won the World Series and knocked it out of the park with that win...I kind of figured we needed to celebrate by showing our love for our team with an Astros themed session.   Honestly, I think those were some of my most favorite photos...the incoming model team was at such ease and really had fun with the session!  Of course, I didn't want to just limit them with a "sports" theme (although, our one guy senior model would have been pleased :-), we did add a little something more traditional to add to our senior model session and pulled off a little "Bohemian" look to our sessions.

As I mentioned in the blog about the Astros, this was that easy...at the time I planned it, I thought, "oh, we can totally do this..no big deal"..well, the Astros grafitti wall is in Houston and the area that we were shooting the "bohemian style" was in a little further west of Katy.   We would still need to come back to the studio, change clothes, do hair and makeup changes and scoot out of here!    These Class of 2019 simply were AWESOME!!  I cannot thank them enough for being so good about arriving on time and making it all happen.   But Ashley...dear "lawd" (TX slang for Lord so we are not disrespectful. :-), she is a miracle worker!!! Woooooahhhh....although they were split into 3 groups, my side kick....and now "ride or die" on these sessions pulled it OFF and managed to make sure these kids looked their best! 

A few little bitty tid bits about this year and my model team.  This was my first time to have a model team of 15!!!  Yes, it was a bit cray cray and I am still in recovery because it was all during the end of senior year for 2018.  I honestly did not know what I was thinking in terms of timing.   Listen, some of you are likely to say, "why would she share this about herself...? ha! ha!) I am just being honest.    I am telling you that next year model team sessions will not be in May of 2019!! ha!  ha!  If I suggest it...please ask me if I have lost my mind!   The kids did great, Ashley did great (hair and makeup artist)...but I was a HOT mess!  ha! ha!   The good news is that the seniors did an incredible job and looked stunning.  They managed to overcome bees, mosquitos and then we had RAIN and WIND!!  Yes..my second group got through the Astros session but when it came time for the Bohemian it was about to rain cats and dogs.   Add to the rain, wind and major lightening and you would find us headed for shelter at my friend's home.  Thank GOD she lived 5 minutes away and we managed to get their sessions done in her beautiful yard.     It was't where I had planned, but we did get some beautiful photos and made it fit our circumstances.   The funny part of this...when I was finished shooting each senior individually, I walked in the kitchen only to find my girls and my friend's daughter chowing down on oreos!  ha! ha!  That ultimately became their group shot as I just LOVE it...they were really so awesome throughout the whole evening! 

Without keeping you in suspense any longer...here is the Class of 2019 Senior Model Team!  Below you will see them separated according to their groups.  This is definitely going to be an incredible year with so many new ideas to look forward to....join me for the ride and schedule your Class of 2019 Senior Session today!   I am already booking 2020 and 2021 (yes, that is a new one...but word is spreading..so don't delay!)   This year we have the following schools represented:  Katy High School, Seven Lakes High School, Tompkins High School, Cinco Ranch High School, Fulshear High School, Clements High School and Pope John XXIII and Faith West !   I am beyond excited to work with each of these seniors...it is going to be an incredible year!   Let's get this party started! xo-Nikki

CLASS OF 2018 | HOUSTON CHRISTIAN HIGH SCHOOL | HOUSTON SENIOR PHOTOGRAPHER

Happy Friday!  

It has been one heck of a week!  Announcing my Class of 2019 model team was so much fun and it couldn't be more perfect with the Astros winning!!!   Of course there are tons of puns I could use; but I definitely feel like I hit a home run with this years' team! 

Speaking of sports and speaking of hitting a home run...let's me introduce Vaughan to you guys! Vaughan is a Class of 2018 senior that graduated from Houston Christian Academy.   Although he didn't play baseball (so my pun didn't get me far with his sports life! ha! ha!),I do feel like I hit a home run by getting the chance to photographer this handsome young man.   Seriously, the ginger hair, the blue eyes and just a good sport (he had to deal with a little "extra non sense since his mom and I haven't had a chance to catch up in a looooooong time! ha! ha!).  Vaughan nailed it when planning for his session.    With a mix of "business casual",  then his sweats and hoodie (honestly he is lucky he went home with them in his duffle bag -they looked so comfortable) and then something he may wear on a casual night out.    Each item pressed and ready to go!   Oh and how can we forget we had to throw in what would be his future for the next 4 years....Lacrosse!   Yes!   More on that later.   This young man just rocked his style and kept it fun!  

Location, location, location.  Without giving away my secret spots (ha! ha!---they are sooo public!)...every shot is taken within 2 street corners!   One across from the other!  That is correct.  Sometimes magic can happen only a few feet away from one spot to another.   With guy sessions this is so important.  Sometimes I may only have their undivided attention for a millisecond, so I try my best to keep it easy breezy.   I believe Vaughan would agree that he had fun!   Even when we had him just goof off acting like he was going to jump a fence! ha! ha! 

Now, on to this handsome fella!  Vaughan's final location was not within the 2 corners, it was on the lacrosse field.  Our time was limited as their was a game happening that day and so accessing the locker room, etc.  So we made it work.  Dealing with crazy wind and a potential storm we pulled off just enough shots to make his album complete.    

Vaughan was the lacrosse MVP and football MVP.   He is also headed to Florida Southern University where he will major in Finance.   On his questionnaire he shared that his most favorite high school memory he says, "we came back from being down 3 touchdowns starting the second half."   When asked what kind of theme he wanted for his session, he said..."midnight"...ha! ha!   I love it when guys have a sense of humor...I cracked up laughing!  I have actually done some cool late night sessions so we could play with lighting, so I do them; but it just seemed so matter of fact the way he answered!    You got to love these boys!   

Vaughan, it was a pleasure capturing this time in your life!   I had so much fun and thank you so much for dealing with all of my craziness!  It is all part of having a good time and getting those candid smiles from my shy ones...by the end of the session, everyone is laughing like old friends! 

Best wishes on your journey to Florida Southern!  They are blessed to have you! xo  Nikki