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senior photos in houston

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Incorporating Props into Your Senior Session

When it comes to props, many seniors have one or two items that they want to bring, but they may not consider them as “props”. Something as simple as your favorite coffee or drink can be considered a prop, believe it or not. Anything that shows off your personality can be included, and can really add a special dimension to your images. We wanted to share some ideas of things you may not have considered for your upcoming shoot:

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Source: pexels.com

-Musical instruments: it might be a bit unwieldy to bring your cello to your shoot, but we love bringing pieces of our life into your session. For many seniors, that includes their love of music. You can bring things like sheet music, a microphone, or your actual instrument to convey this particular passion. If you play a large instrument like a piano, consider bringing your favorite books about the subject, or bringing a smaller option, like a keyboard. 

-Art and creative pursuits: Yes, you can even bring painting supplies, or a sketchbook. Are you writing a book? Bring along the manuscript. There is no limit to the way we can incorporate things like books, writing utensils, calligraphy supplies, or even your laptop if you are a graphic designer. If it says something about YOU, then we want it to be part of the shoot. 

-Favorite food: If you are an aspiring chef, bring along one of your creations! Your favorite cake? Your lucky apron? If you don’t cook or bake beautiful cakes or cupcakes, think of your favorite drink or food, and bring that along. It might sound silly, but some seniors even do a few of their ‘favorite things’ (shopping bags, coffee cups, snacks, or souvenirs like Mickey ears) as some of their props. 

-Your costumes/uniforms: Many seniors use their varsity jacket, which is always a nice touch. But, you can also add something like your cheer uniform, your pom poms, your gymnastics leotard, your ice skates, or even something like a polo with the emblem for debate team or another school activity. If you work a part-time job that you love, you can even bring your uniform for that (check with your boss first, as some companies have policies on being photographed in your uniform). 

I am always open to hearing your bright ideas about things you want to include, even if it’s your best friend or your beloved pet! We can make it happen. I love being creative and figuring out how to add in an unconventional item, and nothing makes me happier than being able to give you a senior session that’s truly about YOU. 

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Jackson's Senior Session

There’s something about a great, simple, outdoor session. It feels All-American, and a big nostalgic. There wasn’t a better fit than Jackson for a session like this: he’s a no-nonsense, kind, and interesting young man, and he loves the outdoors. I really enjoyed meeting his older sister a few years ago, and doing her senior photos as well. Hunting and fishing are two of his favorite past-times, and he also enjoys anything that has to do with Jeeps or old cars. He started his own mobile detailing company this year, and it’s going very well (what an entrepreneur!). In his spare time, he enjoys being with his friends, and training his dog Goose (who is pictured) to be a hunting dog. Lastly, he spends time volunteering in the PALS program, which matches older students with younger ones in order to be mentors and role models.

We chose an outdoor location with pretty trees and a small body of water, and we were blessed with blue skies when we met up. I wanted him to be able to have plenty of room to include his beloved dog, and to also show off his truck. Jackson is heading for more exciting adventures after graduation, and I hope to be front and center to watch his endeavors. 

Some people really love the outdoors, but others prefer an urban, downtown look for their personal style, or to show off a hobby or idea. I love showing off whatever you have in mind, and planning your shoot accordingly. 

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Twenties-Inspired Session

“They were smart and sophisticated, with an air of independence
about them, and so casual about their looks and clothes and manners as to be almost
slapdash. I don't know if I realized as soon as I began seeing them that they represented
the wave of the future, but I do know I was drawn to them.
I shared their restlessness, understood their determination to free themselves
of the Victorian shackles of the pre-World War I era and find out for themselves what
life was all about.”  ― 
Colleen Moore

There is nothing more glamorous and exciting than the roaring twenties!  That’s what made it such a perfect choice for Abby and Jamie’s styled shoot. Abby chose the decade, and we really went to town with their outfits and accessories to achieve an authentic look. We chose long strings of pearls and beaded headpieces, and the girls had gorgeous beaded and fringed gowns. Their makeup was extremely polished and classic, and was done by Kaitlyn, whose talents are simply unmatched. I loved the defined brows and elegant lipstick. 

Did you know that a decade is a great theme for a senior shoot? You can help dream up how to achieve the look you want, whether it’s nineties grunge or eighties awesome. I love incorporating a special era into your shoot, and enjoy the challenge of bringing it to life. If you aren’t a senior, but have an idea for a fashion shoot, you can always reach out to us to book a stylized session. 

Don’t forget to come find us on Facebook. Our followers earn first dibs on special events, behind the scenes looks, and more. We also post sneak peeks and session images from our amazing clients. 

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4 Practical Ways for Finding Joy

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Finding joy is like finding buried treasure. It will take work, and you’ll go on quite a journey getting there, but you need to know where you can find it before you can set off. Thankfully, there are many maps to finding joy, and if you’re willing to put in a bit of work getting there, you’ll realize that it’s not that hard to find. Happiness and joy are different, in that happiness is fleeting and often brought about by things that happen around you, while joy is consistent, and comes from inside. In other words, other things can make us happy, but we can make ourselves joyful. Here are some practical ways for finding joy!

Treat everyday like thanksgiving - No, I don’t mean what you think I mean. I’m not talking about the food (although I can definitely whip up some joy with a bit of chocolate), what I’m talking about is giving thanks. When you make a habit out of being thankful for the things in your life, you’re automatically shifting your mind into a positive mindset, and slowly changing the way that you think about things. Do this for long enough, and you won’t be able to recognize yourself from before, because you’ll be so much more joyful.

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Image source: pexels.com

Challenge yourself with something and commit to it - Here’s where that hard work comes in. The feeling of accomplishment is made up of joyful feelings, and is a very practical way to cultivate joy. Think of that project that you’ve been wanting to do for a long time - maybe you’ve been wanting to learn another language, write more short stories, beat the record on track team - and commit yourself to doing it. You’ll have to be more organized, and set reachable goals, but in the end, the effort will be so worth it, and the journey to accomplishing what you set out to will give you a big dose of joy.

Do something you love - This one only is hard when it comes time to stop. Think about the things that give you joy - whether it’s going out with friends, shopping, exercise, painting, etc. - and do that thing. It’s a surefire way to get a good grasp of joy, but you have to be make sure that the thing you love to do doesn’t become a crutch. You’ve probably heard the adage, “Too much of a good thing.” If you do something you love in excess, then that thing won’t give you much joy anymore. Do what you love in moderation, and you’ll be one joyful person!

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Image source: pixabay.com

Make time for laughter - Anyone’s who laughed knows that it makes them feel better. There’s no wonder that some of the most joyful people you know love to laugh! Think about the last time you genuinely laughed: how did you feel? As you grow older, you’ll have less opportunity to laugh, so while you’re young you should make it a habit. Maybe you have a group of friends that always make you laugh, or you love to watch comedies - you know what makes you laugh. Make time for these things, and you’ll find a whole lot of joy.

Finding joy isn’t as hard as it first seems, no matter where you’re coming from. The hardest part is putting one foot in front of the other, and making the effort to build up that joy. Give yourself time, and you’re sure to find that joy and hold onto it for years to come. If you’re a senior, then you have a unique opportunity to build that joy through a senior session with me. Contact me here to book your session!

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Jaycee's Senior Session

Self-care is a bit of a buzzword these days. It seems everywhere we turn, we hear about how we need to put ourselves first, and to preserve our feelings and hearts. This is one lesson that Jaycee, this beautiful senior, has learned in the last few years: the put herself first. “I have really learned that I cannot hold on to the things that have hurt me in the past. It is something to live by; to move on and find something better. ‘Forget what hurt you, but never forget what it taught you’ is my favorite quote”. I love her strength and kindness, and really enjoyed getting together to capture her senior year. Jaycee will graduate from Lake Travis High School in 2019, and she also enjoys her part-time job at Hill Country Indoor. She enjoys working with children, and also has run track in the past. When it comes to people who are influential in her life, Jaycee cites her aunt and her mom, who are both strong women who have fought for what they want in life! 

When I planned out her session, I chose the Spicewood area near Austin, and a local vineyard, Stone House Vineyard. The vineyard is seriously so elegant and stunning, and pairs the best architecture with beautiful landscaping; it is the perfect spot for an unique senior shoot. Jaycee says her personal style would best be described as “casual, cute and fun”, and that her everyday style usually includes sneakers, t-shirt, and shorts. She looks up to celebrities with a cool-casual style like Selena Gomez, and really loves shopping at Buckle. As far as her future, college is definitely in her sights, and she plans to pursue nursing, with minors in sociology and psychology. Jaycee is passionate about finding justice for rape and assault victims, and helping end human trafficking in the United States. Eventually, she plans to become a counselor or a therapist. I know her huge heart and passion about her goals in life will take her very far! Congratulations, sweet girl!

Contact me today to schedule your senior shoot!

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Halloween Themed Session

As spirits roam the neighborhoods at night,
Let loose upon the Earth till it be light…
~Nicholas Gordon

Something you need to know about me is that I absolutely love dreaming up themed sessions. I feel like it’s a bit of a creative high for me, and it always makes me feel super inspired when I can come up with something new. I’ve always loved Halloween, and the subtly creepy themes that were just waiting for me to come up with something cool! I love basically everything about the holiday, but especially the theatrics, the dressing-up, and the the little bit of campy, over the top drama!

One of these girls, Abby, is part of my senior team, and we brought in her friend Sarah for this themed shoot. Sarah was kind enough to be our super-scary vampire! I loved that they were both willing to go to great lengths to make this happen, even as far as wearing creepy colored contacts! I didn’t want sweet halloween photos; I wanted a little bit of scariness, and these ladies brought it! The makeup was a huge part of the overall look, and I love the all-out creepy result that we ended up with. We added some really dramatic outfits to round out the looks, and it came out even better than I imagined when I first started putting ideas to paper.

Thank you Sarah and Abby for helping my vision come to life. I couldn’t do what I do without my fellow dreamers and creatives, including the senior clients I work with!

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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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William | Foster High School Senior

It’s hard to believe that we have already reached the last of my 2018 seniors, but here we are! I also can’t believe how many amazing young people I have been blessed to work with this year. William, who graduated this spring, is from Foster High School, and really made the most of his years there. He was involved in typical activities like swimming, water polo, and the National Honor Society, which of course are commendable and took tons of hard work…but the main thing I was so impressed with is that he put in over 500 hours of volunteer hours in high school. He was part of a youth education effort at the Houston Zoo, and he tutored at his school (in all levels of math). In addition to these pursuits, he put in time coaching the 12 and under water polo team, and worked tirelessly with the Junior Olympics program in California. I was astonished at the sheer amount of time he put into his volunteer work, and how incredible it is to find such a selfless young man. He’s also a delightful person to be around, and I truly loved his mom as well! William is nicknamed “The Great White Whale” because of his prowess in water polo, and he will be attending Austin College in Sherman, Texas to continue his passion for the sport. In his future, he dreams of one day becoming a professor.

I knew such an extraordinary senior would need a cool and unique place to do his session, so you might be surprised to know that we did his shoot at Pappadeaux Seafood Kitchen, because their front porch location is beautiful. It might seem odd to choose that spot, but I always try to look for the potential in a locale anywhere I go. It leads me to some of the best and most unexpected places, that my seniors totally love. William, I am so proud of your accomplishments, but moreso for your character. I know you will be an incredible asset to Austin College, where they are so lucky to have your intellect and your heart! Congratulations!

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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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Ashley | Texas Senior Photographer

Meet my gorgeous niece, Ashley! I’m about as proud as an aunt could be. She’s not only pretty on the outside, she’s someone I love very much and enjoy being around….a pretty special human. When I found out I was going to do her senior photos, we got to work putting together outfits that would fit the location we had secured: downtown Houston. It’s urban flair and cool architecture was just what we wanted, in order to try out tons of chic looks and different styles. Ashley is wearing a rented dress from the awesome company Rent the Runway, and we both fell in love with the tiered styling and the icicle earrings she added. Rent the Runway is a perfect choice for senior photos, because your dream dress may be a jaw-dropping formal dress like this one, that you can’t afford or won’t wear often enough to justify purchasing. Because Ashley was up for anything, we did tons of different styling and looks, and I’m sorta partial to the “Nope” shirt…it made me giggle and came out as such a fierce, editorial style!

Ashley’s a grad from Tarkington High School, and is active in her local FFA chapter. She’s got big dreams of becoming an ultrasound tech, and says high school has been a learning experience of beginning to truly love herself! When she has free time, she enjoys spending time with family, like her mom who she says “is who inspires me. She never complains that being a mom and a dad is too much to handle, and she smiles even on the bad days”. Ashley says her goal is to be remembered as someone who helped others, and always followed her dreams! I think she’s well on her way.

Do you follow us over on our Facebook page? If not, you're missing out on our events, special offers, behind the scenes peeks, and tips and tricks for high school seniors. We post all of these things and more, and we would love for you to join us!

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