Minnesota Wedding Photographer + Destination Wedding Photographer | Nikki Tran Photography bio picture
  • Welcome!

    Welcome to the blog! My name is Nikki Tran and I am a Wedding Photographer based in the wonderful Twin Cities of Minnesota. Snuggle in your cozy chair, grab a cup of tea, relax, and enjoy reading about my adventures as a photographer, a wife, and a mommy to a furry little child named Rusty. I am so glad you are here! Check out my latest posts on the right --->

Nick & Chelsie ~ Minneapolis Wedding Photographer

It’s been awhile since I shared a wedding so I’m really excited about showing you this one. :) Last weekend I got to co-shoot with the lovely Meg Cooper Photography (who was actually our wedding photographer – love her and so glad I have a friend, besides Paul, in this crazy wedding industry!) at the Westminster Presbyterian Church (it’s so large – Meg and I got lost about 100 times just walking from the bridal room to the front doors!) and the Loring Kitchen & Bar.

I love co-shooting with Meg because

a. It’s always a great opportunity to be not in charge of the day – I get to observe more, try new things, etc. without the added pressure (or at least not as much pressure :)).

b. It’s so nice having someone (besides my wonderful Paulie) to talk to about my job. Most people have co-workers to talk to on a daily basis and co-shooting a wedding is my co-worker chat time. :) 

c. I love seeing both of our results; it’s amazing to see how different our perspectives can be throughout the same wedding. :)

d. It’s fun! It’s girl talk mixed with taking photos; best of both worlds. :)

Thanks so much, Meg, for having me work with you!! Can’t wait for the next one! :) xoxoxo

Enjoy this lovely wedding, friends!! :)


Haircuts and Work and Play

Laundry going, tea steeping, clock a-ticking, dishes cleaned – all’s well in the Tran house today. Currently I’m alone in the still, quiet house; Rusty is out at the groomer’s getting his adorable rust-colored curls cut, and Paul is at work. I just came home from dropping Rusty off and having lunch with my love.

I feel like there’s been a lot happening in the past week and a half since I’ve been absent, but I feel like I don’t have much to tell you? We’ve been pretty preoccupied with a few things lately; preparing for a somewhat big surgery I’m having in March (recovery time can be 6-8 weeks! Yikes!); tax season (almost done already – can’t wait to have that stressor off our shoulders); Paul got a new job (which he loves – so happy for him :)).

♥ The groomer just called! My little love is ready to come home! Be right back! ♥

Annnd we’re back! He is oh so shiny and he smells like vanilla. And the wonderful groomer even put an adorable bandana sprinkled with hearts on him. I’m in love!

On days like today – when my brain is focusing on a thousand different things – my blog posts can take awhile to write. I started this post at around 1:15pm and it is now 3:51pm. Paul is on his way home right now and then we’re off to the grocery store in the next town over (my favorite grocery store – I love going there; fresh deli, baking breads, meat market – yummy.) so I’ll assume I’ll be finishing this right before bed. :)

♥ Ha! Paul just pulled in the garage – be right back again! I promise, I will finish this post! ♥

And I’m back again, and this time it’s 7:43pm. Ha! I told you, days like today are difficult for blogging. But I must persevere. :)

Another thing I’ve been working on/thinking about a lot is my new website. I told you awhile ago that the website was going to be one of my big projects this year, and since I have quite a large gap between weddings this year (can’t complain – more time to just be, #4 on my New Year’s Goals) I’m taking my time with it. I don’t want to rush it and then change my mind within a month; I want to truly hone in on my style. So naturally, I’ve been pinning!

What do you think? Does it look like me?? I do hope so. :) I’m also taking elements from my office, my painting nook, wardrobe, and of course, my tea collection to really try and pull my entire brand together. :) And I can’t wait to show you the final look – I think spring would be a lovely time to showcase it; everything is always so new and exciting in the spring. :)

I’m often asked by people (friends, family, strangers) what I do when I’m not working, or what I do when I’m not shooting a wedding. I think most people think I sit around eating bon-bons all day – wouldn’t that be wonderful if it were true?! However, when I’m not in the midst of a crazy season, more stress is added onto me – it’s a very different kind of stress than when in wedding season; I add stress on myself because I always want to make sure I’m always working on something. In the back of my head I have a gigantic list of to-do’s and I know that it’s not possible to accomplish all of these things when I’m shooting back-to-back weddings. So, when I have downtime during the year I have to make sure I accomplish all of these things.

For instance, the website. I’ve wanted a legit portfolio/interactive website since day one but it didn’t seem financially doable until I knew I was getting steady business every year. I’m on my 3rd wedding season so I’d say it’s about time, what do you think? :) I also want to create a more informational guide for my brides and grooms. Right now, each prospective client I meet with receives a “Welcome Packet” filled with photos, a vendors list, a wedding planning checklist, business cards, etc. But I would love to create something more in depth – thus another project I will be working on for some time. And just recently I’ve added mentoring to my business –  something I’ve been wanting to be able to do for a long time, which means more things to create, sort out, etc. Besides my wedding photography, I also try to make time for my Photoshop actions business, The Enchanted Collections. That part of my business is my baby, although it’s been a rather neglected baby lately. I have big dreams for it and I know in time I’ll be able to focus more on that. I’d love to have templates for photographers, more sky overlays, light overlays, and a wide range of action sets. Good things take time, right friends? :)

However, when I’m not working you can find me in the living room basement; heater on, Rusty sleeping, old movies or Disney movies playing, jug filled with water, brushes swirling in pools of beautiful colors, all by way of cozy lamplight. I can’t tell you how amazing it feels to finally be doing something I’ve wanted to do for so long! I love painting. Every little thing about it is pure magic to me. I can’t believe that I now paint on an almost daily basis when two months ago I would just stare longingly at all my paints wishing I had time/would make time/have the confidence to do so. And because I’m in such a wonderful mood about it all I thought I’d share with you, my lovely friends, some things I’ve been working on. Please be kind – I’m still a beginner. :)

Everything (or at least almost everything) that I give to people that involves a card or letter will be homemade. Why do I need to buy a Valentine’s Day card for my little nephew when I can create it myself? Homemade = love. ♥ The photos above are the front and back of a Valentine’s Day card I’m sending to two of my little nephews who live all the way in New York and who are not available for actual hugs and kisses from NeeNee. I’d say this is the next best thing, wouldn’t you? Perhaps with a little handwritten letter tucked in too. :) I have a few more nephews and one lovely niece (who is taking after her aunt and just adores tea and everything that goes with it! So proud!) so I still have a few more to make.

This one is close to my heart. :) For some reason, I just keep wanting to paint and write about Paul and I, especially the beginning of our story. This painting may be my favorite that I’ve made so far; we used to sit in his car in his parents’ driveway, out in the country, and watch for shooting stars. We’d talk and talk and talk, not realizing how much time would pass (I still had a curfew at that time), and then one night I saw it – my first shooting star. Amazing! So, I decided to recreate it and eventually will write about it. And maybe someday I’ll bind everything together and keep it as a keepsake for us. :)

Alrighty friends, it’s now 8:21pm and this has officially become the longest-blog-post-to-write in the world. Field of Dreams is on (Hello Daddy! :)) and Shoeless Joe is disappearing in the cornfield. Time to snuggle with Rusty. :) xoxoxo

Mom - January 29, 2015 - 1:49 pm

“Is this Heaven? “

Nikki - January 29, 2015 - 2:49 pm

It’s Iowa. :)

New Year, New Goals

Well hello, friends! It’s been awhile, hasn’t it?? I think the winter weather has affected my blogging consistency…yes, I’ll just blame the Minnesota winter. ;)

The truth is, I’ve been enjoying other things these past few weeks and I just haven’t had the desire to create blog posts. I’ve been honing all of my creativity into painting lately, and it has been an absolute dream (except for 5 minutes ago when I didn’t realize my hands were still damp from washing my hands and I smeared my latest project. Talk about a buzz kill.); I’ve been painting things for myself, friends, and  my family (they’re all secret gifts so I can’t show you what I’ve been working on :)). I’ve also been writing a lot (I’m already on my second diary since May!), reading good books, and of course, ’tis the season for taxes.

Since this year has started off a tad slow, I’m not worrying about making deadlines or sending out packages or the constant nagging voice in my head that tells me to blog all the time; I’m just coasting along for now. I’ve had the opportunity to reflect more, mainly on things I want to do this year and things I’ve accomplished last year. Around this time last year, I wrote a blog post similar to tonight’s; it was about my 2014 goals. I haven’t read that post in so long and I was so pleased to see that most of the things on my lists were accomplished!

*Excerpt from last year’s post*

~Business Goals 2014~

1.) This is a big one but it’s always been a goal of mine: book a wedding in another state (or country – I’m not too picky).  It wasn’t too far away but I still shot a wedding outside of Minnesota….in Wisconsin :)

3.) Find and actually love my editing style (I change my mind a lot on my editing – I’m waiting for the day when it just clicks). I finally did it! I’m totally okay with being bold some days and matte the other. Love my editing style FINALLY.

4.) Finish my office!! Paint! Decorate! Complete my Organization Wall! Order favorite canvases to display! Okay…I’m ALMOST done with my office. Yes it’s painted, yes it’s decorated, yes I have a favorite canvas hung…but there’s still small adjustments that need to be made before I share it with you all. :)

6.) Design an album to show clients of my favorite images, both engagement and wedding. Did it. Love showing it to potential clients. 

7.) Get a better website with a portfolio and a blog. Someday. Can’t wait!! Finally am in the middle of creating one and I can’t wait to show it to you all!

8.) Offer mentoring/coaching sessions. This is another big one – I’m pretty excited about it. :) So excited about this part!! It’s been a slow process but I’m finally able to offer mentoring sessions. :)

9.) Be more confident in my work. It’s taken a bit of time and I’m still not without doubt with my work, but I’m definitely more confident than I was at this time last year. Baby steps. :)

10.) Figure out my favorite poses and develop a style (sometimes my brain freezes and I forget to do some of my favorite poses – blah!). So happy about this part – I truly feel that my branding, posing, etc. reflect who I am as a person and photographer.

11.) Be featured on more wedding blogs. SO EXCITED about this one!! I still cannot believe that I was featured in The Knot earlier this year as well as a few wedding blogs – so incredibly honored!

~Personal Goals 2014~

1.) Finish painting and decorating the basement – this is HUGE! We just started painting the awful orange paneling in the basement and it looks LOVELY! Haven’t finished it but it’s much prettier now than it was a year ago.

4.) Start my front yard garden and stick with it!!! Yes!! Cannot wait to continue gardening this year!

10.) GROW OUT MY HAIR!!! I’m an impulsive hair chopper – this is going to be difficult but I know I can do it! This is huge for me! I still haven’t cut it besides trimming – so proud. :)

12.) Pay off a couple of big student loans!! Omigoodness friends. The weight that has been lifted off of our shoulders this year has been wonderful. No, our student loans aren’t completely paid off but big dents have been made and we couldn’t be more relieved/happy. :)

13.) Get my skin looking better (I’ve had really bad cystic acne for the past 3 years – thank goodness for Photoshop! – so it’s a constant battle, but I”m hopeful for this year! :)). Another weight lifted off my shoulders!! Cystic acne is absolutely horrible – scars, insecurity, not enough makeup in the world to cover it…it’s just horrible. BUT, it’s been getting so much better these past couple of months – ever since I started taking Vitamin D3. Whoop whoop!

16.) Learn how to bake Easter Pizzas (family tradition). Did it. Delicious. Success.


This year’s lists won’t be too long; there’s really only a few things I want to truly focus on this year:

2015 Goals (personal and business)

1. Don’t crowd the calendar with too much; leave time for serendipity. 

2. Surprise people I love with little gifts, a handwritten letter, cookies.

3. Make time to create.

4. Make time to just be.

5. Keep chasing dreams.

6. Don’t take rejection personally; I’m not the photographer for everyone.

7. Stop comparing and competing.

8. Teach. Help others.

9. Finish every work day with a tidy desk; finish every day with a tidy house. 

10. Trust God – He knows better than I do. 

Well, I already feel better about this New Year. :) It’s amazing how much can change in a year and I’m so excited to see where I am at this same time next year. :) Cheers, friends!! xoxo

Nana - January 19, 2015 - 6:12 pm

Love it sweetie..Hope I’m part of the family that gets one of those little gifts..Love you more

Mom - January 19, 2015 - 8:01 pm

:) enjoyed

Nikki - January 20, 2015 - 3:05 pm

Thanks, Mother. :) And of course you are, Nana!! :)

Ashley Brooks - January 26, 2015 - 4:42 pm

Yay! It’s so good to see all the progress you’ve made! I might have to steal the tidy desk/house goal from you. It’s so hard keeping the house clean with Hadley, but if I don’t stay on top of it, things get seriously disgusting. :(

Huzzah for taking it easy in the slow season!

[...] large gap between weddings this year (can’t complain – more time to just be, #4 on my New Year’s Goals) I’m taking my time with it. I don’t want to rush it and then change my mind within a [...]

Nikki - January 29, 2015 - 3:10 pm

Thanks, lovely! :)