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Abby's Senior Session | Texas Senior Photographer

“Find out who you are, and do it on purpose”. -Dolly Parton

I hear a common misconception among the seniors who come to me for senior portraits. Many of them think that the must choose just one “look” during the shoot, and that it must be bohemian, urban, or modern. I really want every client to know that we can do multiple looks during the photo session, and that it doesn’t make you less authentic. I believe every senior can put their own spin on any outfit or location, and make it “them”. For Abby’s session (below), we showed off her love for softball, her love for high fashion, and her adorable everyday style! With each outfit change, we also chose an appropriate location, and I am head over heels for the way the ones with the granite steps came out. All of these images represent Abby and her journey in high school, and just because they are all different, doesn’t make her session less impactful. If you are struggling with coming up with your theme or style, I am always here to help, and enjoy guiding clients to find what will make them feel most confident. We really get to know our clients on a personal level, and find out their passions and interests, in order to capture them in their best light.

Abby is graduating from Needville High School, and will be attending A&M Commerce to play softball when he graduates. She is incredibly bright, fun and interesting, and a joy to talk to. Right now, she is currently on a special trip to Amsterdam (lucky girl!), and I cannot wait to hear about her adventures when she gets home. Congratulations, Abby!

Creations by Jewel_senior photos_softball_Texas.jpg
Creations by Jewel_Senior photos_glam_Texas.jpg
Creations by Jewel_Senior_Houston Texas_.jpg
Creations by Jewel_Texas Softball_Class of 2019.jpg
Creations by Jewel_Senior Pictures_glam.jpg
Creations by Jewel_Fulshear Texas_senior.jpg

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Ways to Encourage your Friends

Recently, we shared a blog about protecting your mental health, and the steps you can take to preserve your sanity and your health during stressful times of your life (hello, senior year!). We also wanted to share information today about ways you can help encourage a friend going through a hard time, whether that is a mental health crisis or a difficult situation in their life. Part of being a good friend is sticking together in spite of life’s ups and downs, and during some of the worst times as well as the great ones! Here are four practical ways to help a friend in your life who is suffering:

Source: Pexels

Source: Pexels

-Listen without offering advice: It can be hard not to interject advice into your friend’s life, especially when you feel you have a good solution. But often what they need is just simple listening and someone who will be there for them. Ask if they’d like advice before offering it, so that it lands on open ears and helps them feel heard. Also remember to set aside time if they need to talk, in a coffee shop or a quiet place where you can listen without distractions.

-Bring them a care package: What things make your friend happy? Do you know their favorite restaurant or coffee shop? If you’re able to, bring them a care package of some of their favorite items or food and leave them on their porch during a difficult time. It can really cheer someone up to know you’re thinking of them. Here are some ideas of things to include: smoothie or coffee, a cute mug, socks, candy, a movie, a magazine or book, hairties, video games, cards, notes, a journal, gift cards, etc.

-Make them a priority: Make yourself available to be a good listener, and let your friends know they are a priority in your life. Make sure that you balance your other commitments, and never allow yourself to become a doormat, but if your friends know you are there for them, they will be more likely to come to you for help. Ways to do this would be: setting aside time each week to see a friend or two, answering texts and calls when you are able, and listening without texting/being distracted when you are together. Check on your friends who are going through a hard time, even if they aren’t reaching out to you. Sometimes, it is too overwhelming when going through difficulty with family, health, or school to reach out to anyone for help.

-Encourage them to get outside help: If a friend is dealing with depression, health problems, or other issues where outside help might be useful, encourage them to reach out to a counselor or other trusted adult. Go with them if appropriate, and if they need support. Remember to keep their issues confidential (unless they involve harming themselves or others and you need to tell someone), and don’t share their personal problems as gossip. Let your friend know there is no shame in getting help!

Being a good friend takes intentional work, and practice. Being there for your friends will make you into a more compassionate person, and the people in your life will know you are someone who can be trusted!

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Five Ways to Protect Your Mental Health

Mental health isn’t an easy topic. There are so many reasons why, and it’s a multi-factored issue, that I’m not sure we will ever have the answers to. But, I think it’s actually important to begin addressing mental health in our lives in high school (or even earlier!), because high school and college are when the rubber really meets the road. Stressors begin to take root, you face deadlines and new friendships or relationships, and you can feel new emotions like anxiety or worry for the first time in your life, or at a new level. Here are five things you can do to practice self care and protect your mental health as you navigate senior year and college:

Source: Pexels

Source: Pexels

  • Exercise: Easier said that done, but the endorphins released when working out or even walking are important for your mental health, and can also improve other things like digestion, clarity, and focus. If it’s hard to find time to get to the gym, try walking with a friend during your lunch break, or getting on a treadmill while listening to an audiobook. It might take some creativity, but exercise is key to a healthy and happy life.

  • Give of your time: It sounds counterintuitive to give your time away to others, but serving the needy actually is shown as a marker of healthy people. Some ideas for high schoolers or college students would be: tutoring children, reading to children (like in a SMART program at a low income school), holding babies in the NICU (many hospitals have volunteer programs, but you may have to be 18 or older), serving food at a soup kitchen, or working with animals at a shelter. You may find that just a few hours of your time really helps you feel connected to other people and can fend off depression and anxiety.

  • Eat healthy: Filling your body with junk not only can make you feel yucky, but it can also increase depressive or anxious thoughts. Sugar in particular can cause emotional swings. We recommend juicing as an easy way to get liquid nutrition if you’re on the go, or smoothie bowls which you can consume in the morning. If you or your guardians are unable to cook at home, or don’t have the time, you can opt for healthier choices even when eating out, such as grilled chicken instead of fried, or subbing out fruit instead of fries. Small decisions can really impact your health.

  • Find a therapist or mentor: Did you know therapy is valuable even if you feel great? It is important to have someone you can talk to, even when things are going well. It will help keep you more stable when crisis’ hit and can help you learn valuable coping skills for obstacles in your life. If you cannot afford a therapist or counselor, and are struggling, go to your high school counselor and let them know. Often they will have resources in place, and professionals that they can refer you to. Even your high school guidance counselor can offer a listening ear. Don’t be afraid to reach out.

  • Let things go: do you have toxic people in your life? Don’t be afraid to be straightforward with them, gently explaining that right now you need to focus on other things (schoolwork, admissions, college), and make healthy choices that are empowering. Then, once you have politely ended or declined certain people or activities, go forward in confidence and follow through. If you have parents or guardians in your life, be sure to fill them in on what’s happening, so that they can help keep you accountable and help you move forward in your life.

Mental health is crucial to success in all of our lives. If you are struggling, we encourage you to reach out for help, or call the national suicide lifeline at 1-800-273-8255. Never hesitate to ask for help when you need it, or to get help for a hurting friend.

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