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richmond tx senior photographer

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Backwater Boutique

If you’re a local, you may be familiar with Backwater Boutique! It’s located in nearby Richmond, Texas, and we have recently teamed up with them to provide our senior team with some of the best fashion choices! The boutique received rave reviews online, for good reason. They have incredibly helpful customer service, and they stock only the most fashionable items for their clientele. Whether you are looking for the perfect dress, or a few staples pieces to add to your fall wardrobe, they have it. I love that they are also very inclusive, and have an amazing selection for standard and curvy sizes alike, which means every girl has access to such quality clothes. I loved their selection of dressy blouses and basics like tee shirts, and that their price points are not as expensive as some small boutiques. Most seniors and their parents are already paying for senior portraits, college expenses, grad parties and more, and cannot afford to break the bank for a photoshoot wardrobe…Backwater makes it possible to feel confident and trendy, yet stay in your own budget.

Our girls are loving this store, and it’s only created one problem: they all want to buy everything in the store! Below, you’ll find Jamie, who is part of the Class of 2019. She loved the black top she has on below (off the shoulder with embroidery) so much, that her mom went back and purchased it! The blue top below is our “team shirt”, and is not from Backwater, but the other outfits are, including the accessories. They have really great hours, and you can visit their website HERE.

Hair and makeup artist HERE.

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Emma | Teen Photography in Houston, Texas

You may remember that I recently talked about utilizing creative locations. I believe you can find inspiration everywhere, and that doing so is one of my strengths! A fun fact about this shoot is that we set a “studio” up right in this young lady’s home…proof you truly can get professional, stunning portraits just about anywhere with some hard work and ingenuity! Emma attends Wertheimer Middle School and is in the 6th grade. She will graduate as part of the Class of 2025, but that’s a few years away, so for now she’s focused on keeping her grades up and living her life in a positive way. “I’d describe myself as loyal and generous”, she shared, “I recently say the movie ‘Wonder’, and that really changed the way I view people. I hope people remember me in twenty years for being a nice person”. Emma dreams of being a hunting guide one day, and really looks up to female role models who have forged ahead in this field, such as Melissa Bachman “because she is the only female hunter that has her own show on the hunting channel and she is so inspiring!” I know Emma is well on her way to becoming an inspiration to other strong young women.

In her spare time, this beautiful young lady enjoys spending time with family and friends, and listening to music by Kenny Chesney and Rachel Platten (she loves the song ‘Fight Song’). For her professional portraits, we kept things simple with classic and solid colored attire. It kept the focus on her incredible eyes! We also added an elegant Michael Kors jacket with a fur hood to lend texture and interest to a few shots. I had a hard time choosing a favorite image, because these all capture her strength and grace. You may have noticed that she’s not yet a senior in high school, but I shoot portraits of many kinds. The teen years are some of the best times to have a photo session done, because many people only have baby pictures and then seniors photos; missing those wonderful years in between. If you’re looking for a portrait photographer, please let us know!

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Practical Ideas for Thinking Positively

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Maybe you’ve heard it said before: one small positive thought in the morning can change your whole day. If that’s true, can you imagine how much good you can do if you made a point of thinking positive throughout your day? Of course, it takes training to adopt this sort of mindset, but I can tell you from experience that making positive thinking a regular part of your life will be a game-changer. Here are a few of my practical tips for thinking positive!

Start the day off right

How you start your day sets the mood for the rest of your day, so doing it the right way is important. We’ve all had days where, as soon as we wake up, we’re reminded of something embarrassing we did years earlier, or something that we’re nervous about happening in the future. Those sort of feelings stick with you the whole day long unless you do something to combat them early on, and that something is positive affirmation. It’s as simple as looking at yourself in the mirror, and saying something like ‘today’s going to be a good day’, or ‘today, I’m going to be the best I can be’ - even if you feel silly. You’ll find that this simple practice will help you to think more positively throughout the whole day!

Find the good in the difficult

Contrary to popular belief, there’s really no such thing as a perfect day. There’s always going to be something challenging in your day that has the potential of ruining it. When you encounter those challenges, focus on the benefits, no matter how small they might be, and you’ll find that the situation is a lot less difficult than it seemed. For instance, maybe you have a classmate that gets under your skin every day: the benefit there could be an opportunity to work on your patience and practicing love for others instead of sinking into a negative outlook and souring your day. Face those challenges head-on, and you’ll strengthen your ability to make the most of hard situations.

Turn your negative self-talk upside-down

Negative self-talk is like this: ‘I’m awful at this, I won’t ever be better than what I am’. Not only is it negative, it’s also self-defeating, because it implies that change will never happen. Positive self-talk takes ‘I’m awful’ and turns it into ‘If I practice more, I’ll be way better at this!’. It’s honest about your own abilities, but realizes that you can change for the better. It’ll take some training, but try to be mindful of your negative self-talk, and work hard to turn it on its head. It’ll change your life!

See every failure as a lesson to be learned

To err is human. Everyone makes mistakes, and everyone has experienced failure in their lives. It’s something that we all go through, but not everyone accepts a failure and learns from it. It takes an open mind to grow from failure, because you have to be open to changing yourself to do a better job next time. Maybe your science project bombed, or your speech didn’t go so well; try to assess where you went wrong, and take the constructive criticism your teacher might give you. Don’t focus on how you failed, but instead think about what you’re going to do differently next time. By doing this, you’ll be growing your character, your knowledge, and your abilities - all by the power of positive thinking!

Seek out like-minded friends and mentors

Surrounding yourself with positive people is like wrapping yourself in a warm blanket. You’ll hear positive outlooks, affirmations and stories, and their perspective will sink in and affect your own mindset. Finding friends and mentors who live a positive lifestyle will help you grow in your own path, and give you valuable insight on how best to think positive. At the same time, don’t cut out the people in your circle who may have negative points of view, as you might be the only positive influence they have. Do your best to improve the lives of others, and let their positivity affect you in the same way. 

While it may take some work, living the positive lifestyle is so worth it! When you start your day off right, you’ll be in an even better place tomorrow. What are some ways that you're thinking positive today? Share it with us in the comments below!

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Choosing the Perfect Location for Your Senior Photos

Source: Pexels

Source: Pexels

Location is everything. For your senior session, it isn’t just a colorful backdrop or a scenic view. A location done right should reflect your personality, and ultimately who you are as a person. Where you have your portraits done will say a lot about you, after all, and you want it to be authentic! Thankfully, there are many wonderful locations around the Houston, TX area, and there’s always the option for a beautiful destination session in the place you’ve always dreamed of going. Wherever it is, we’ll work together to make sure it’s the perfect fit for you. In the meantime, here are some of my tips for finding the perfect location for your senior photos!

Know who you are

This is the best place to start, even though it may take a bit of thought to narrow down just what makes you special. Would you describe yourself as a fashionista? Do you love an urban vibe, do you love the woods? Are you an artsy person, or do you like sophistication and elegance? Are you casual, or are you fast-paced? These are all questions you’ll have to ask yourself, because they directly impact where your senior photos will be. Mull over your personality traits, and make a list of all the things that you love, even writing a short description of yourself. All of this info will jumpstart the process of finding the best location for you!

Know who you’re not

If you’re having trouble describing yourself, then describing who you’re not might help you zero in on what makes you different. Maybe you’re not a fan of the beach, or you just can’t stand it out in the sun. Or maybe you don’t like anything cliché, and you want something different than what your classmates are doing. Figuring out what you don’t want your session to include is just as important as finding the best location! You can even collect a few photos of places or sessions you’re not into, and show them to your photographer so they know what to avoid, and get to know your interests better.

Choose a meaningful location

Your favorite memories have a home. Maybe it was your grandparent’s backyard out in the country, or it’s your favorite haunt downtown from when you were a just a tyke. Having your senior session where you made some of your happiest memories will make your shoot mean so much more, and reflect not only who you are, but your own unique history as well!

Think about the time

This is usually the thing that slips the mind when considering your location. The perfect time equals the perfect light, and that can make or break a session: for example, an outdoor session at noon will yield some less-than-flattering results. Sunrise and sunset sessions are gorgeous, but it takes some extra planning to make sure we get catch the sun at the best time. Thankfully, you don’t have to think too hard about what time will work best for your favorite location, because your photographer will have the inside scoop.

Get creative with it

You’ll only have a senior session once in your lifetime, so why not do something totally unique? Make time for brainstorming: get together with some friends and check out Pinterest for some fun ideas, or talk to family and friends you know that might have access to a special location or two. It could be a rooftop, a vacant loft, an event venue, or even a vintage motorbike garage or an airplane hangar. Or maybe you’ve always wanted to have your photos done in Paris, or on the hills of Scotland, or at the Tower of London. Get creative with it, and find someplace that will help you stand out and show off your unique personality!

In the end, the best place to have your senior session will be the place that you love the most. Stay true to who you are, and you’re sure to choose the perfect location for your senior session!

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Five Ways to Prepare for your Senior Year

Yeah, we know you just wrapped up your junior year, but that senior year is just around the corner! It may be hard to believe, but that summertime feeling just may be giving way to another emotion: stress. The key to truly enjoying your junior summer and senior year is to prepare for all the obstacles and challenges yet to come, and help you maximize your free time by getting started early on. Here are five ways you can prepare for your senior year, right now:

Get a great planner; Since nearly everything is digital these days, you might think a paper planner is a bit outdated, but studies show that writing something down helps you retain the information. We love the Life Planner ones by Erin Condren, because they are so pretty and useful, but there are other more affordable options as well that are under $5 (we found some at Walmart and the dollar store). Pick up some highlighter markers as well, so that you can color code events, deadlines, and more.

Get a mentor: Yes, your parents or guardians are an invaluable resource and support, but it also helps to have someone who has recently gone through senior year. Find a friend or support person who has graduated in the last few years, and who is wiling to answer your questions and guide you through the process and the things you may need to do. If they're willing, try to meet them for coffee or lunch a few times during senior year to help keep you on track and listen to ideas or offer advice!

Start pinching pennies and buying things you'll need: It's really tempting to put off a budget or purchases for college until senior year is over, but spreading things out will help even out your expenses. We recommend making a large list of things you'll need for college, and buying an item here or there, when you can afford it. You'll be well on your way to everything you need, by the time your senior summer starts. Some starter items would be: iron and mini ironing board, storage bins, bed risers, laundry hampers, and under the bed rubbermaid containers!

Exercise: That freshman fifteen is real! So, staying healthy leading up to your first year in college is really important. Your body will be conditioned to stay fit and help keep your weight in a healthy range. It is also great for your metabolism to exercise, even through the stress of such a busy year. Try getting a buddy to begin running with you, or try to walk every morning before school. If that's too early for you, you may consider joining a gym that has a student discount, and setting aside time to go each week.

Plan those college trips early on: You can often view colleges and learn about them, early on in senior year, and avoid missing important school deadlines as well. Contact each of your prospective schools and find out when their available dates begin, and plan them out with your parent or guardian. Don't forget to request time off work if you currently have a part time job!

These ideas should help you prepare for a senior year filled with less stress than your classmates, and set you up for success! Don't forget to come back to the blog for more advice on handling junior and senior year, and how to document those important years with Creations with Jewel!

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The 4-1-1 on Summer Jobs!

Want to earn some extra money this summer? You may be thinking of how to do just that, but aren't sure where to start. Whether you are saving up for college expenses, yearning for a new car, or just hoping to have some extra spending money for smoothies and shopping, it all takes earning a paycheck. You're in luck! We are going to show you how to land a summer job to be proud of:

Source: Pexels

Source: Pexels

1) Spruce up your resume: You can use a free design program like Canva to create a beautiful template type resume and then fill it in with your own information and images. It is NEVER a good idea to lie on a resume. Not only is it unethical/illegal, it could cost you your job and hurt future opportunities if your boss or HR found out that you had written down experience or education that you didn't have. Instead, be sure to expand upon anything you have accomplished, such as scholarships, babysitting experience, even housesitting or volunteer work. You want to demonstrate a strong work ethic, with reliable sources. Make sure you also list out relevant skills like microsoft word, Excel, typing speed, speaking other languages, etc.

2) Find great references: Your bestie may be your brunch buddy and shopping partner, but they may not be the best job reference. You want to list people who are able to speak about your character or your work ethic. If you've never had a job before, consider teachers, ministers, or school officials who may be able to eloquently outline character traits and things you're good at. Make sure you ask permission before listing anyone on your resume and giving out their contact information.

3) Don't fall for scams: Don't ever go on a job interview without telling someone else where you are going. Don't go to any jobs that lack a real description, or appear to be vague. Don't ever sign anything you've not read thoroughly, and show your parents any paperwork that is given to you before signing it. Jobs that say things like "modeling gigs" or "nannying" (especially on Craigslist with anonymous numbers listed) can be scams, so make sure you check out any websites, associated phone numbers, etc, before you go to an interview. 

4) Network where you are at: Asking around your local church, school, or places of business are all great ideas. If you're wanting a job in a specific field (such as a dentist office or a clothing boutique), it can be beneficial to find someone who has worked for a long time in the industry and ask them if they might have leads for you. Local connections are also ideal because they are face to face and help you avoid falling into any scam ads or things that look "too good to be true". You can even keep copies of your resume in your car if anyone wants to see it.

5) If you cannot find a regular summer job, get creative: If you have a special skill, think of ways to use it to earn money. Some examples would be: tutoring family or friends in reading or math skills, teaching singing or violin lessons if you play an instrument or sing, writing for a local newspaper if you have strong writing skills, teaching art or craft classes for young children.  You may be able to find enough side jobs to earn a little extra money. Doing side jobs is also a great way to keep a more flexible schedule in the summer. 

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