Evoking You Mommy and Me Photo Session

At Evoking You we take fresh, candid, magazine style photographs of you and your family. We focus on the connection and love that is always there to capture. We think a photo is a delicious way to have something tangible to look at and hold in your hands that shows you without a doubt there is love in your life.

We especially love working with Moms and taking Mommy & Me photos. This is Tricia writing to you and I want to say that Moms are amazing creatures and always evolving. Sometimes as Moms we get stuck in a stressful train of thought that brings us pain and forces us to forget how awesome we really are. My favorite kind of photos to take are photos that flip that stressful belief for you!
family photography pittsburgh

“Whatever stops you from dreaming….Whatever tries to stop you from living, flip it.” ~Alicia Keys

I’m going to share what Sara wrote about what caused her to want a session with me:

“We try to do at least 2 photo sessions per year, since our kids are young and they are growing up so quickly. Each time, I put so much pressure on myself and, as a result, on the kids. I go out and buy or raid our closets for coordinating outfits – not too matchy-matchy, but the right mix of colors and patterns to look interesting and cohesive. Once these outfits are on, no one is allowed to snack – we wouldn’t want a stain to mar the coordinated look. By the time we get to the photo session everyone is cranky and hungry, and I’ve self-sabotaged my way into a stressful and sometimes tearful time. Tricia has always been able to use her magical photography skills to deliver photos in which all of the kids look happy and my husband and I look stress free. I will certainly always treasure these photos, but when Tricia was talking about the new concept for her photography business, Evoking You, I was intrigued. I thought, “wouldn’t it be nice if we were actually happy and stress free during our photo session so the photos could capture our true joy?” That is what Tricia was able to provide. She came into our home so our kids were relaxed and didn’t have to take a break from play to go do a photo session. They were able to continue playing and have those moments caught on camera. Instead of carefully curating their outfits I told everyone to wear what they felt best in. We don’t look as picture perfect as we have in some of our past photo sessions, but these photos are authentic and demonstrate what life is like for us at this moment in time.” ~Sara
lifestyle photography pittsburgh

What I hope I was able to flip for Sara was the thought that she has all these things to worry about leading up to a photo session. First of all- Moms- we take on too much of this stuff as our own responsibility. I know I do this all the time. Family birthday cards/gifts? My responsibility. Kids’ school forms, teacher appreciation week, crazy frickin sock day? My responsibility. So when a photo shoot comes up I think a lot of Moms freak out a little thinking oh my god how in the hell am i going to pull this off? And yes we all want the coordinated photo with everyone looking… or do we? Maybe you do maybe you don’t. Maybe you would love a candid family photo even better. Who knows, either way what you want is perfect for you.

What we got out of this relaxed photo shoot was true smiles from the kids, true expressions, no one was bribing them to say cheese (nothing wrong with that either 😉 ) and I think what we got is absolutely priceless. Not only can Sara look back at these and laugh when shit hits the fan (which it will, come on we are parents), but the kids can cherish these too and they will be so happy to have these photos of their Mom interacting with them.

What a beautiful Mom you are Sara! These kids just adore you. Thank you for inviting me in to your home and hang out with you all! Can’t wait to do it again.

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Messages of Light, Love and Hope

Welcome! This is the full, ever evolving chain of Evoking You’s messages of light, love and hope.

These messages are about my journey through a past life regression therapy. Going forward I’m going to call it a Soul Searching Session because that’s really what it is.

We will talk about what that is and how it helped me see that my fears were tiny compared to the vast amounts of light and love surrounding me.
The first thing I want to say is that I am not an expert. I am merely a reflector to show you how to help yourself. I am not trying to sell you anything or convince you of anything. I just feel that I want to share the hopeful messages I have been receiving. Take from this anything that makes you feel safe and comforted and leave anything that doesn’t resonate with you.

I started researching past life therapy about a year ago. I read a lot of books about it and knew it was something I wanted to try but I was scared to take the leap.

Do you believe in reincarnation or having past lives? I know that part was a stumbling block for me because I was raised Catholic which doesn’t include reincarnation in their beliefs. But even if you don’t believe maybe you can believe that our Soul is grander than this physical body we are currently in. Maybe you can believe that our Soul can take us to other experiences that didn’t happen in this lifetime to teach us or more like remind us of something that can help with issues we have in our day to day life. That is exactly what I experienced.

In the next email I will talk about how I have a new understanding of our Souls, how my fears were actually trying to reach out to help me and how I am learning to turn inward for relief from anxiety, panic attacks and other mental health symptoms. Soul Searching sessions can help with this and also physical ailments, really anything that’s causing you pain can be helped. There’s no need to suffer.

past life regression pittsburgh pa

What is a Soul Searching Session?
Like I said in the previous email I was very apprehensive going into my SSS. I wasn’t sure what would come out of it. I knew I wanted help with my intrusive thoughts, irrational fears and anxiety and I knew in my heart it would help but still. It seemed a little “out there” if you know what I mean!

I won’t lie there were a couple times I thought my heart would beat out of my chest as I walked through a few memories but it was almost cathartic and the peace and tranquility that followed was worth any trepidation.

*I mentioned in the last email that I read several books on this – if you have a strong interest go look up Dolores Canon, Dr. Brian Weiss, and Mira Kelley.*

Through these wonderful authors who explain it way better than I do, I understood that our Soul is so much larger and diverse than this physical experience we are having right now. I think of it as our Soul being the trunk of a tree- it can reach out with branches and roots and experience different life times, in between life times and more.

My SSS helped me realize that my fears and intrusive thoughts were just other parts of me knocking me on the head like “Hey, I can help you with this if you will let me in!”

In the next email I will send a beautiful message from a little girl named Anna that I experienced a life time through. She speaks of holding on to the wonder of your inner child, loving with your whole heart even when it seems risky, and above all trust yourself which will help you trust others.

Today’s message is one of fearless hope.
I received this message from a Soul Searching Session I had a few weeks ago.

First let me tell you a little about what I was like as a kid. I was mostly quiet and withdrawn. You could usually find my nose buried in a book. I was the oldest of 4 girls and definitely the most serious as a child. I also was plagued with irrational fears of someone harming me while I was in my bedroom at night. To the point that sometimes I would spend hours awake frozen in a panic, feeling paralyzed in my bed. I would cry with relief when I heard the first birds singing at dawn.

Fast forward to adult me- I would go through long periods of time with no fears like this but they would come back from time to time. Also I was way too hard on myself, didn’t allow myself to let go and enjoy my kids very often, and certainly didn’t trust myself. It was one of the phases where the fears came back that I went and had my SSS done. What came through was a different lifetime as a girl named Anna. To make a long story short Anna was kidnapped and murdered as a child. My fears were definitely stemming from this soul memory and now that they were brought to my conscious mind I could start to heal them.

Surprisingly, once I got past the initial “omg” of it- Anna had a lot to say. She reminded me that sometimes bad things happen but they are no ones fault. She says there’s a part of all of us that’s still a child and believes in magic, fairies, Santa, and unicorns. Let that child out more often! Play with kids. Run in the rain. Get messy, have fun, trust in a plan that is bigger than what you can see with your physical eyes. Trust yourself no matter what. Love with your whole heart even if it’s risky. Even though you don’t know what will happen choose hope, choose love.

Also- my fears are getting better! They still come up sometimes when I’m triggered but it’s more like an old habit that I feel able to break now that I know what it’s about.

I hope this helps someone choose hope today. Fears come and go. Anger and hurt come and go. Love stays always.

Why I went for my SSS.

The simple answer is because i wanted to know myself better. SSS (soul searching sessions) are a way to access your inner wisdom. It’s not someone else telling you their experience it’s you describing your own experiences to yourself. I have always been prone to believing everything everyone else says about me. Over the years I had grown tired of this! I just felt that I was done being defined by others options.

I want to share this message because I believe that anyone surviving with mental health issues deserves to know that there are infinite options to help them.
I shared in a previous message that I was diagnosed with Bipolar Disorder in 2017. I have no family history of BP and even though the diagnosis made sense in some ways it just didn’t totally fit for me. And even if it did I had questions.
Why was I experiencing the symptoms of BP in the way that I was? Why were my triggers what they were? Why did the medicine sometimes work and sometimes didn’t work?

I had doctors telling me one thing, other people with BP telling me other things, books I was reading telling me a different story and I was overwhelmed. The desire to trust myself and be confident in my self led me to schedule my SSS.

What I experienced was a deliverance from all of my anxiety. I found a place inside me that was so sure, so calm, so confident. So full of unconditional love, so wise and ready to help me anytime I needed it. My relationship with my kids is changing for the better, my panic attacks are dwindling and most nights I am sleeping soundly and waking up with energy.

I would love to answer any questions you have , please feel free to reach out. My main goal is to share the message that there is hope. So much hope and no need to suffer.

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Are you an Empath Mom?

The dictionary describes an empath as:
“An empath is someone who is highly aware of the emotions of those around them, to the point of feeling those emotions themselves. Empaths see the world differently than other people; they’re keenly aware of others, their pain points, and what they need emotionally.”

I would add to this that Empaths take unnecessary responsibility to “fix it” when others are emotionally hurt. On one hand because they truly care and want to help and on the other hand because it will help them stop hurting too!

I would also argue that all Moms are somewhat of an Empath. We are keenly aware of our kids’ feelings and physical needs. Think of Empath Moms as a Mama Bear on steroids. Some signs that you are an Empath Mom:

•Sometimes you feel too connected to your kiddos- like feeling everything they are feeling to the extent it causes you anxiety or emotional pain.

•You tiptoe around your kids to avoid conflict.

•You feel completely torn because you want to enforce rules but their tears totally derail you.

•You feel emotionally burnt out after spending all day with the kids.

•You aren’t even sure how you feel sometimes because their feelings are so all encompassing.

If you have another sign please share it in the comments.

To make everything even more complex, oftentimes kids of Empaths are also Empaths. So they are super in tune to their parents moods, feelings, and often saying what their parents are thinking even though their parents haven’t said it aloud.

I have experienced this in my family and it can be so exhausting!! My oldest is 9 so I have lots of tips to share on how to survive with all the Empath energy flying around!
ok on to the tips to help you!!

Firstly if at all possible teach your kids to meditate. You should be meditating too. I know, I know, it’s the advice everyone gives to solve all emotional problems. But it’s so important. I was only able to distinguish myself and my feelings when I consistently meditated. It doesn’t have to be for long. 10-15 minutes a day is plenty. It gives you some much needed space in your head. Kids can meditate too and often they pick it up quickly and easily.
With kids start with one minute and work up to five minutes over a month’s time. Have them place one hand on their heart and one on their belly and count their breaths up to 10 and then start over.

Empath Mama you should be drinking lots and lots of water. Your emotional processing system is constantly working and it needs water to work comfortably. I drink 2 large glasses of water right when I get up in the morning before any coffee or food and I feel so much more balanced.

Join a gym that has childcare built into the membership. You need exercise and alone time. Time to take a long hot shower without kids around. Time to sit in the locker room and stare off into space lol. I’m a member at the Y and it’s around $50 a month which includes the childcare which is open every weekday from 8:30am to 1pm. It is soooo worth it. Sometimes I don’t even exercise I just sit in the community room with a snack.

Ok this is a hard one for both you and your kids but totally worth it:
Teach your kids about feeling their emotions. Sitting with their emotions. Teach them to notice it like a wave in the ocean. Sit with them and see how long it lasts. There is a peak to it and then it starts to fade. Teach them they are like the ocean and their emotions are like waves or fish whatever works better. They come and go but they as the ocean are always calm and steady. I won’t pretend this part is easy. One time my 5 year old threw such a full blown tantrum we were both crying our eyes out and it was a good 45 minutes before we settled down. But honestly before that I wasn’t sitting with her during it I was avoiding her, telling her to go calm down by herself, there’s no reason to be upset and things like that and it wasn’t working. It was only when I sat with her and gave her space and showed her how to cry and let it fade away that we both felt better. Come to think of it she hasn’t had one like that since then and that was 2 months ago.

Ok one more thing for now- make the rule enforcing a team effort. For me it’s hard to be the reason they have to do things like get off their tablets, do homework, eat their healthy food before snacks, etc. So writing them down puts them on paper and away from me. Also adding things like- your doctor agrees that you should eat this healthy food, your dentist said you have to brush your teeth twice a day, your teacher and I agree that this is the time you should do your homework, etc. It makes me feel that it’s not just me its a team effort, and it helps the kids too- they feel better knowing where these guidelines are coming from.

These are just things that have helped me- please share what helps you! And feel free to reach me at patriciajnicolas@gmail.com

Join our facebook group for a place to ask questions and feel belonging:

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Mental health toolkit part 2

Hi all! I recently did a live in our Facebook group- https://www.facebook.com/groups/1919381518328004/?ref=share

All about creating my mental health toolkit. There are so many things that can help during a mental health crisis or bad day and the thing is (for me anyway) we tend to forget what helps when things get rough.

So I encourage you to create an actual box of items, lists, photos, crystals, essential oils , anything that helps you. You are each so unique that only you can know what should be in yours but I will tell you what’s in mine.

I have this labrodite crystal that helps with fears, anxiety, even menstrual cramps ladies! The gold coin is an angel coin that appeared in my house one day. I don’t know where it came from. The adjust your focus keychain is from a dear friend and the Purple Heart is a gift from my daughter.

I also have a rose quartz crystal for energetic protection, Rosemary essential oil because the smell really grounds me, some photos of my family, and a print out of Brene Brown’s parenting manifesto because I LOVE IT!

I would love to hear some things in yours!!

Remembering you always,


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Evoking You mission statement

When the thought of naming Evoking You came to me I honestly just thought the name sounded cool. It made me think of a Warrior Goddess harnessing her inner strength. I thought it would be a sister company to Viva Portraits that focused on women, especially mothers. I knew I had a passion for creating art from photographing Moms with their little ones. I put up the facebook page about 16 months ago and just recently started to really build it up. It took a year for more of the pieces of the puzzle to fall into place.

This January I had a serious test of my inner strength. I became off balance and had some intense panic attacks. It was rough but I got a glimpse of the strength inside me and I’m forever grateful for that. My whole life I’ve been running to outside sources for comfort, leaning on others for strength and denying my own inner compass. This January I was forced(but happy) to stop running. I truly evoked myself. The dictionary defines Evoke as this: bring or recall to the conscious mind. That is truly what I did. As soon as I surrendered to what was happening to me what I needed to do burst into my mind. I reached out to my family, told my husband how I felt, made emergency appointments with my therapist and psychiatrist. I used essential oils, grounding techniques, ice therapy, and other methods. To me the scariest part of mental illness is the forgetting. The getting lost in the storm of it. When I struggled so hard against it I couldn’t even remember the first step to helping myself. I don’t want anyone to ever forget. I want to help them remember.
past life healing pittsburgh

In the past year my eyes have been opened up to all the extra help that is out there in addition to traditional ways of treating mental illness. There are Energy Workers that can use the Emotion Code and find and release trapped emotions in your body. There are Reiki healers, meditations, sound healings, so many!
My favorite, and one that I might try to integrate into my services was a past life regression. These sessions are deeply healing and you literally evoke from yourself the wisdom of the ages. I saw exactly why helping Moms with mental health issues is my passion. I know my purpose is to share my survival story and help others triumph in their own stories. I want to help you evoke the eternal wisdom inside of you. So Evoking You truly is the perfect name.

Our mission statement is this:
We want to provide comfort and connection to Moms who feel isolated with mental health issues. We want to dig deep with them to find the core of their painful thoughts and feelings and help them start to turn that around. Through photography we can capture the love they share with their little ones and give them a keystone photo to turn to when times get rough. We also want to help them build their mental health toolkit and teach them to turn to it in addition to medicine and traditional psychiatry.

Our main message:
You are not alone and there are unlimited options that can help you.

Please share our message. It is so important for others to know that they are not alone and there is ALWAYS something else to try. We are ready and waiting to shine a light when you are in your darkest hour.

Talk soon,

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