Hermann Park – Kite Festival

Be a kid again at the Hermann Park Kite Festival

The past three years Hermann Park has had a Kite Festival on the hill by Miller Outdoor Theatre, I missed it last year, so these photos are from the previous year.  This year the Kite Festival is Sunday, March 26, 2017 from 10:00 am – 5:00 pm.

Note:  You might think (like I did), that a kite festival sounds kind of boring…just nothing that me and my adult daughter would enjoy.  Wrong!! We had an absolute blast playing like kids ourselves and watching everyone else act like children and enjoying every second of it!! Seeing the enormous smiles on the kids faces and vast array of different kites in the air was fun too!

Advice:  Don’t just stay by the hill at Miller Outdoor Theatre flying your kite the entire time! Walk around by the reflection pool, check out the vendor booths, enjoy the music, watch the kids do a dance off, see the butterfly ladies on stilts – enjoy the outdoors and chilled crowds.   Bring a small blanket in maybe a backpack along with some water bottles, bug spray, snacks for your kiddos and definitely your camera!!! Go be a kid again!!!

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BAPS Shri Swaminarayan Mandir

BAPS Shri Swaminarayan Mandir in Stafford, Texas is breathtaking! It’s a place of traditional Hindu worship but respectful visitors are allowed.  The exterior is made of Turkish Limestone and interior of Italian Marble.  The hand carvings are stunning as you can see in the photos below.  It’s truly a sight to behold and worth a visit!

Note:  Mandir basically means a temple or place of worship.  There is a souvenir shop and plenty of photo ops!

Advice:  Check the Visitor Guidelines before you leave please to be sure you are dressed appropriately, etc.

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Bayou Wildlife Zoo

Bayou Wildlife Zoo was a blast in Alvin, Texas

Bayou Wildlife Zoo in Alvin, Texas was a special treat.  Not far from Houston, I saw it featured in the news recently so packed up the Canon Rebel T3i and headed out.  What a cool place! The staff couldn’t have been nicer or shown more love towards the animals too – that’s a really big deal to me!!  I had a totally tame deer just following me around! There is a petting area with goats and pigs. The Tram ride is included in the cost and takes you on a nice ride through the park to see the animals then you are free to walk around a portion of the zoo on your own too.

Note:  Does $20 for adults and $10 for kids seem a little on the high side? Well, I will tell you the animals seem extremely very well cared for and the staff obviously love them all so yes, for me initially I wondered if it was going to be a rip off, but to see how well they are loved and much must be invested back into their care…I left perfectly ok with the cost.

Advice:  Bring CASH!!!! They only take cash or checks but not sure on their check policy so better off safe with cash.  At last glance it cost $20 for adults and $10 for kids. If you want to pay a couple dollars more to be able to feed the animals from your bucket…get there early so the animals haven’t gotten full and uninterested 🙂 .

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This deer was my buddy and kept following me around – loved it!

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Review: Wedding Photographer in Houston

Review: Houston’s Ammar Selo Photography – he was my daughter’s wedding photographer

Wedding Photographer Review Time:  While I’ve had the privilege recently of seeing numerous friends and co-worker’s wedding photos, they just don’t compare to the photos of my daughter’s wedding photos (not because it’s my daughter, but because the quality was phenomenal! As I would be ten times more picky about her photos!!)  Ammar Selo Photography was chosen for her and her hubby’s special day.  Of course I had gone online to research Mr. Selo’s work and thought it was outstanding, but when it’s YOUR child getting married… you want PERFECT!!! Indeed, PERFECT is what we received! I really cannot recommend this photographer enough!! He managed to capture images far exceeding our hopes and dreams and did so under some challenging circumstances to say the least! He was super fast with the photo previews, was practically invisible during the ceremony and reception yet blew our minds when we saw the photos! He was EARLY, captured those of us (ah…that’d be me that need to lose weight) in the best (i.e. slimming) flattering manner along with the rest of the guests, was very respectful and polite and just overall a pleasure to work with on this most special day!

Note:  Mr. Selo has no idea I am writing this and therefore, it is an honest, unsolicited, review for those of you struggling to pick that perfect wedding day photographer.  I don’t take putting my name of recommendation of anyone lightly! But this guy is great! Wedding Wire shows some reviews (all 5 stars which is the best score you can get) and I now see that he was won the 2017 Couple’s Choice Award – that makes me happy to learn. Very reasonable pricing too.

Advice:  Be clear and honest about your expectations when hiring Mr. Selo about what sort of photos you are looking to get and what you do and don’t like.  My daughter and her husband were and the results were incredible! I would additionally suggest booking early!

Thanks for visiting Houston Photo Journey!

Max and his Human known as Ma

Hemi Hideout (Fast Cars & Amazing Neon!!)

The Hemi Hideout in Brookshire Texas is a feast for the eyes…even if you aren’t into cars!

The Hemi Hideout in Brookshire, Texas was a completely accidental discovery that I am THRILLED I found!!! Even if cars aren’t your thing…trust me…this is a super cool place to see!! The Owner, Mr. John Hovas’ is the nicest man too and very kind-hearted! This was his vision and dream and boy did he do it up right!!!! Wow!!! I don’t want to spoil it so I’ll just show a this one shot.  Worth the drive!!

Note:  Be prepared for an eyeball overload!

Advice:  Bring your camera!!! Donations are very appreciated and are MATCHED and go to nearby charities….I was HAPPY to donate!!! Call to be sure when they are open.  Have a blast!

Thanks for being our virtual traveling sidekicks!

Max’s Human and Max

 

Lynchburg Ferry

Try the Free Lynchburg Ferry in Baytown to go to the San Jacinto Monument or Battleship Texas

The Lynchburg Ferry in has been a free ferry in Baytown, Texas since 1888! Even I am not THAT old! 🙂 It connects the North and South Independence Parkway and the San Jacinto Battleground monument, (which I will save for another post).  However, going there in a torrential downpour was probably not a wise idea…but then again…I’m rather know for doing random things that aren’t always the smartest 🙂 I wish once on the Ferry, you were allowed to get out of your car for photo ops but that’s a no-no. Still, it is a free, fun little adventure and then you can go see the San Jacinto Monument and Battleground and the Battleship Texas 

Happy wandering!

Max and his Human

Review: Case Logic SLRC-206 SLR Camera and 15.4-Inch Laptop Backpack

Almost two years ago, I started to try learning my new Canon Rebel T31 camera and a little about photography as I’ve always loved taking photos, then discovering all the hidden little treasures your actual eyes didn’t notice at the time.  To tell you the honest truth, for a while I just used a thrift store, solid black, diaper back to carry my camera and some neoprene cases to hold the 2 lens I had.  While that didn’t work out too bad, once I started investing more money – I wanted to protect my investments! That’s when I began my research on camera purses, bags, cases, etc. I ended up buying the Case Logic SLRC-206 SLR Camera and 15.4-Inch Laptop Backpack from Amazon for around $80.  I was able to watch this a YouTube Review I saw on Amazon by NiceOne but it’s no longer up on YouTube so here is another look at it instead 🙂 from JRESHOW .  

What was important to me:

  • I don’t want it to scream “rob me..I have expensive camera gear in this backpack!”
  • Needed to be as light weight as possible (I have a bad back)
  • Good padding for shoulders so it’s comfortable
  • Sturdy (duh on that, but I LOVE the hard bottom so you can stand the backpack on wet grass, etc. and just wipe it later)
  • Lots of pockets as when I am on a “photographic adventure” I use it as my purse too
  • Well made to protect my Camera and lens and adjustable velcro compartments so I can customize to fit my particular lens/storage needs
  • Outside, easy access pockets for cell, keys and pepper spray (ya never know-best to be safe).
  • Easy access to the actual camera without having to open the entire bag!
  • Reasonably priced (that’s a biggie) but quality!!
  • A place for a water hydration pack which is what I use the laptop area for in the hot, Houston summers and or a rain cover, book, etc. (but your laptop would certainly be safe in the padded area).

Would I buy it again is the real question???…Yes!

Note:  As of the time of this post, I have zero affiliation with either Amazon (other than buying from them) or Case Logic and have received not a darn thing for this review in any way, shape or form. Just trying to share good deals with you 🙂

Thanks for stopping by Houston Photo Journey!

Max’s Human and Max