Photographer Nia Jones had no clue how much her life would change when she shot a wedding and met the man she would marry, Johnny Frazier. She gained a husband, help meet, and business partner all in one click of her camera.
Like so many of us have heard, love shows up when you’re not even looking for it. Last summer, Nia was in work mode as the photographer for a wedding party, and Johnny was one of the groomsmen.
As she pointed, clicked and set up just the perfect shots, he couldn’t help but notice her beauty and drive. He knew he had to get her attention.
“He asked me to take a picture with him,” Nia told HelloBeautiful.com. “I was like, ‘Well, who’s going to take the picture?’ And his cousin just pops up magically. We took the picture and it was a horrible picture because I had my hair pulled back, and I was in my work uniform. He was all dressed up.”
“It’s just the way she carried herself. You can see a powerful woman from afar. And the way she controlled how we were taking pictures, and the control she had of the whole situation, I was like, ‘Woah,’” said Johnny, who recalled that she gave him some very clear and firm direction while shooting. “My chin was up too high. She was like, ‘You! Chin down, I can see right up your nose.”
He continued, “When she made that contact, I was like, ‘Ok, let me talk to her. Let me see what she’s about. Let me see if I can get to know her.”
Johnny definitely got what he wanted, but maybe not quite the way he expected. Their first date was your standard trip to the movies and some ice cream, but it came with a twist. Nia let her man know that she’s a bit of a jokester, and she played a prank that almost got Johnny in trouble. “I think he thought I was kind of weird, but I was just trying to break the ice,” she said. That might scare most guys off, but they had a great time. After that first night, though, Nia still wasn’t sure how she felt about him.
“I was so used to being single that I was trying to find every [fault],” Nia revealed. “I called my sister, and said, ‘I don’t think I like him. I don’t know.’ And she told me, ‘You’re just judging too fast; let it work out.’”
That was fantastic advice because by date three Nia was in love. That might seem like a big leap, but an impromptu outing sealed the deal for her. Although she told us she wasn’t dressed her best, she noticed that his focus was completely on her. That let her know that he was interested in her as a person no matter what she looked like.
As Johnny tells us, he knew it was love because things were just so natural between them. They didn’t have force enjoying each other’s company.”Everything was so effortless. Nothing was hard. Nothing was hard at all,” he explained. “The way It was just us two. Nothing else.”
Their connection was only helped by the fact that they were both very clear on what they were looking for. When they met, Nia actually let Johnny know that she wasn’t looking to date; she was all about being single and celibate until the right man came along. “We both basically were looking for the same thing, but searching in the wrong places,” Johnny said.
“She told me, ‘I’m not looking for a boyfriend, I’m looking for a husband,’ when I met her at the wedding,” he recalled. “I told her, ‘Hey, I’m mot looking for a girlfriend. I’m looking for a wife. Someone I can grow and settle down with. I’m ready.’”
Johnny credits Nia with effortlessly changing his life for the better. He dropped some old habits (drinking and clubbing were out) and picked up a new skill just by being with his lovely lady. As they became closer, Nia started to teach Johnny about photography. Soon, he’d picked up enough to help her out on jobs and he’d become an official member of Nia Ray Photography.
Nia says this partnership was the answer to her prayers. “I do so many weddings, and I do so much with photography, he has to be somebody that can tolerate my schedule,” Nia shared with Hello Beautiful. “He would have to be ok spending time with me doing that because that’s something I love. And we’ll probably never get a free weekend in the summer because it’s wedding season.”
The first thing Nia had Johnny work on was an engagement photo shoot, and she gave him lots of pointers after the session. He proved to be a quick study, so Nia immediately put him to work.
“He picked up everything so quickly. And before he knew it, I had ordered him a shirt with ‘Nia Ray Photography’ and he was in the center of a wedding,” she explained with a laugh. “We’ve been shooting ever since.”
About six months after that first date, Nia and Johnny went ring shopping because they knew they had something lasting. She was especially impressed with how Johnny, who has a daughter of his own, took her four girls under his wing as if they had always been his. He was truly a help meet for her.
“I figured, if you are strong enough to take on a single woman and four kids that are not yours, and you want to be there, you have to be somebody special to do that,” Nia shared.
Johnny decided to pop the question one night when they should have been heading to Bible Study. He made sure their daughters (from previous relationships) were taken care of, and he created a diversion to keep them from church. First, he insisted they go to the mall on some urgent mission. Then he took her to another shop and came back to the car with a blindfold.
Nia resisted the idea at first, but she eventually put it on because she trusts Johnny. Without it, he couldn’t pull off his surprise. “I said, ‘You trust me, right? Just put it on,’” said Johnny. With the blindfold in place, he took her to a restaurant called Logan’s and her senses almost gave everything away. “She smelled the bread and heard the country music.”
He had indeed booked a room at Logan’s and filled it with her family and friends. When Nia and Johnny got there, he sat her down in a chair and Nia’s sister pulled off the blindfold to reveal a place packed with people she loves.
“My family and his family were so quiet I didn’t know that there was anybody in that room. I figured that wherever we were, he was going to do something with just he and I,” Nia explained. “My sister took the blindfold off, I looked to the right and I saw all these people. I looked the left and my brother’s girlfriend is the corner and she got real teary eyed. I was going to cry anyway!”
She continued, “My dad was so excited he was just pacing the floor.”
“I got on my knee and told her how she makes me feel,” Johnny said of his proposal, adding that Nia couldn’t let the moment pass without pulling a prank. “She played a trick on me. She told me, ‘No.’”
Nia added, “I could hear everyone in the room go, ‘WHAT?!” Remember, she’s a prankster!
After letting her fiancé sit in disbelief for a moment, Nia accepted his proposal. The moment was entirely cinematic and spot-on for this happy couple, who find themselves on the other side of the camera.
These two are an example of how quickly love can move because today is their first anniversary! Nia and Johnny will be getting married during a beachy ceremony in October 2017, and we’re sure it will be picture-perfect.
Congrats to Nia and Johnny; best wishes for a long and blessed marriage!