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senior sessions

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Grace | Class of 2019

I’m always scouting out fresh locations for my seniors. I never want my seniors to think they will only get the same exact spots as their friends, although of course every photographer has their favorites. When I came across Binders Gardens, I knew I had found a true gem. It is a wedding and an event venue in Needville, Texas, and filled with the most gorgeous greenery and little walking areas. I knew it was the spot for Grace, this beautiful and fun senior from Lamar Consolidated High School. She’s one of my Class of 2019 seniors, and she has a personality that has so many facets! I’m not sure I’d ever get to know everything about this lively and delightful young lady, but I enjoyed trying. She is involved in the yearbook committee at her school, and describes herself as “kind, loyal, and aware”. Grace really loves music, especially the hit songs by Pharell and Selena Gomez (who is her favorite celeb), and reading. One film that really impacted her in recent years was the war biopic Dunkirk, about which she says, “Seeing that movie showed me that the events were real, and how war effects the people involved. Also, how war can bring people who love each other together.” Besides reading and seeing movies, she also enjoys swimming and working out in her spare time. 

“I hope in twenty years, I will be remembered for being kind to everyone and staying positive”, she explained, “I really look up to people like my mom, because she deals with a lot, but she always makes sure that my brother and I are happy, and being the best that we can”. When it came time to plan and design her senior session, Grace shared that she wanted to look very natural, and I made sure her images captured her authentically. I hear pretty often that seniors really want to maintain their personal style and look, and I’m all for it. Sure, we all like to get glammed up sometimes, or maybe you want a more formal or boho look, but no one wants to look back on their senior photos and say, “I didn’t look like myself!” I think meeting Grace and doing her senior session (and getting to know what a spunky and smart gal she is), really helped me shape a shoot that shows the real her. Every outfit she brought also showed her taste in fashion and I loved seeing how her personality played into her choices.

Contact us today to schedule a shoot of your own!

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What to Bring with you to College

The journey from high school to college and onward is one of the best ones, but it can be a bit frightening without preparation. It’s so important to prepare before college, because as soon as you get there, you’ll be studying and keeping busy for what will feel like 24/7. If you’re missing some essentials, you might panic, and your grades may suffer for it. The whole journey can be a bit overwhelming, but I’m here to help! Here are a few necessities to prepare you for university.

Source: Pexels

Source: Pexels

bedbathandbeyond.com

bedbathandbeyond.com

Under-bed Storage

Dorms aren’t the biggest rooms in the world, so it’s important to buy items for their storage and for their multi-functionality. This one will go under your bed, and it’ll store shoes, blankets, off-season clothes, and whatever else you can fit in there.

USB Bed Risers

To get some more room under your bed, use these bed risers to give you that extra height. These are dual-use as well, since one of the risers has an outlet and USB ports, for all of your charging needs. Now you can sleep easy in a cleaner room, while everything charges literally at the foot of your bed.

Thin Hangers

You wouldn’t think this would be something as important, but closet space is that essential. You’re bringing and buying enough clothes to last you for a few years, throughout each season, so you’re going to want as much space as possible. These huggable hangers will keep everything organized and hanging close together, allowing you to keep everything hung and wrinkle-free.

Storage Ottoman

These wonderful footstools will let you keep your feet comfy while storing whatever you can fit inside it. It’s the classic dual-purpose furniture, and it can end up being one of the most important pieces in your dorm. There’s so many different styles to choose from, but this modern gray-white chevron one is a good place to start.

Noise Cancelling Headphones

Sometimes, it’s just impossible to study due to all the noise going on around you. Libraries might not always be the answer, but noise cancelling headphones might be just the thing. This wireless Cowin pair is great for the price, and offers you perfect silence in even the busiest of places. Store them in your backpack or in your dorm for quick access whenever you need some soothing tunes, or just some peace and quiet.

Stepping out on this grand college journey is so exciting, and when you’re prepared, there’s nothing holding you back from accomplishing everything you’ve ever wanted to. Here’s to your bright future!

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Five Tips to Find The Perfect Senior Photographer

Milestones are a big deal. At this point in your life, you’ve already hit a good deal of them, like taking your first steps and entering your teenage years. Now that your teen years are almost over, you’re about to hit your next milestone: graduating high school! You’ve worked incredibly hard to get here, and now it’s time to celebrate and take one of your first steps into adulthood. I wrote about how important an event it is in a previous blog, and since it’s so important, it’s going to be one you’ll want to remember, and remember well. That’s why you’ll want to find a good, professional senior photographer to capture it in a way that does justice to your work and your personality. To help you do just that, here are five tips on how to find the perfect photographer for your senior photos.

Source: Pexels

Source: Pexels

Take some time to look around

Don’t rush into anything. One of the biggest things to look for in a photographer is their ability to make you feel comfortable. If you’re uncomfortable in your photos, it’s going to show through in the pictures you go home with. But how are you supposed to figure out if someone you haven’t met will make you feel at home in front of their lens? Well, one of the best ways is to look at their reviews. What have their clients said about their experience? Another way is to look back over their portfolio. If you’re not a fan of their past work, pass them by. A bit of research goes a long way when it comes to something as once-in-a-lifetime as your senior pictures, and trusted referrals are your best friend.

Involve your parents

Some of you just had shivers run up your spine. But trust me, their perspective is invaluable. Maybe your parents had their senior photos taken as well, and they regret wearing the funky trends of their time. How many of us “old people” do you know that have an embarrassing hairstyle we rocked way back when, or some stylin’ clothes that, for good reason, aren’t around today? Your parents might be able to give you some great style advice for your senior session, because they’ve been through it themselves. Your senior session is all about you and your style, yes! But most often, it’s your parents that know you better than you know yourself. Getting them involved beyond financing your shoot might be the best thing you could do for your session!

Value Connection

Being able to connect with your photographer might not seem as important, but here’s why: they should be able to understand your vision for your session, and bring it to life. You’ll want to find someone whose biggest goal is to capture the real you (like me!), otherwise they’ll just be interested in what they think looks good. They might be able to give you nice-looking photos, but not photos that reflect who you are. And who you are is what your senior session is all about!

Think about your wardrobe

Most often, picking out the perfect outfit is a lot easier than it sounds. Since your shoot is all about you, what you like to wear the most will be the perfect outfit! Maybe you like to dress up all fancy, or you like the more modern and urban take, or maybe for you it’s all about boho - no matter which it is, your favorite look is the one that’s going to look the best on you. To make it easier, get a friend or two to help with narrowing it down to a couple outfits, and get your parents’ advice on what looks best. Make sure that you’re bringing your favorite outfits to your senior session, and you can’t go wrong!

Source: Kamdora

Source: Kamdora

Think about the end result

Everything’s digital these days, it seems like. Call me old fashioned, but I still love physical prints of my favorite photos. If you’re like me, then getting a disk of your senior photos just won’t be enough. Some photographers save you the step of finding a good printer for your pictures by providing those services themselves, and it’s worth looking into if you’re someone who likes to frame their pictures. If the photographer is printing their own work, you know they’re going to handle it well, and that you’ll get some quality prints for your graduation announcements/invitations. Easy is nice!

You’re at such an exciting point in your life! You’ve worked so hard to get here, and you deserve to have some wonderful photos to commemorate your efforts. If you’re looking for a senior photographer who’s dedicated to your experience and satisfaction, contact me here to book your senior session with me today!

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Allie's Fun Senior Shoot - Senior Photos in Houston, Texas

I may be aging myself by saying this, but when I saw these finished images, I thought of the song "Girls Just Wanna Have Fun", because we had such a great time. Allie is a beautiful gal you may have previously seen here on the blog. If you missed her earlier blogs, you can read them HERE and HERE, and read more about the vision behind my senior photography.  She is such a wonderful young woman, and one of my favorite people to work with, because of her great attitude. Attitude really is everything when it comes to senior photos, and being up for whatever comes your way, or when inspiration strikes! This shoot was truly "just for fun", and it was everything we hoped.

I was able to utilize The West Studios for this session, which is one of my favorite places to shoot. It is a gorgeous space that photographers can rent when they want a white, natural light setting for a fun shoot like this one. We chose several outfits and props for Allie, and I loved the feel of her tie and hat ensemble. She also looked adorable when we added some cheery headphones for an editorial style series. As you can see from her earlier blogs, she really can pull off any look we tried, from retro hollywood glam to classic black-and-white photos. 

I hope these brighten your week! If you have something special in mind for a shoot of your own, please let me know. I love helping make your dreams come to life, and I truly try to listen to every idea, no matter how involved they might be!

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Why Do Senior Pictures Matter?

Milestones are something that I consider often, as a photographer and a mother. I remember the milestones of my own little ones, like newborn photos and those blurry first days in the hospital. Then come those toddler years, and then school photos, replete with missing teeth, pigtails, glasses, or braces. In between, snapshots with friends, and maybe a yearly family photo or two. So, why is the senior year so important? Typically, senior photos are the last professional photos before a wedding day (yes, I am serious!), so I cannot underscore enough how monumental they are...the time does not come back to us. The era of high school is brief and beautiful, and over far too soon. I also know that senior year is full of so many opportunities to spend money (cringe), and often, parents try to pinch pennies in every area that they can. Oh, how I understand this as a mom...I know that graduation expenses, that gorgeous cap and gown, announcements, parties, and college visits (not to mention college itself) can empty your wallet faster than you can imagine. But I beg of you this: please don't skimp on senior photos for your son or daughter. Your friend or your cousin may have a "fancy new DSLR", and you may be tempted to just let them snap a few photos. 

I will admit that I am not the typical photographer, in that I didn't pick up a camera years and years ago, and fall in love with it. I loved taking pictures, but did not make the point to get professional pictures more than a couple of times in their (my three boys) lives. Senior pictures were not a “thing” yet in the rural area we lived when my oldest graduated. We had a friend who was just starting out and she did take some senior pictures for me, for which I was so grateful for, especially in hindsight (remember this was not a “thing” where we were) Not to mention, that money has always been an issue for our family, and this was just not deemed as a necessity.  As their childhood and adulthood continued, I really understood the importance of printing photos as well.  We never race back into the fire for a precious USB or CD, we race to the albums, the scrapbooks, and the framed photos. This is because of technology changes. Could you even imagine trying to get things off a floppy anymore without it becoming an ordeal?  But a print in your hand or off the wall is what becomes a true heirloom. 

Think of senior photos as building your legacy, one image at a time. Senior year is irreplaceable, and so is the experience of senior portraits! 

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Nathan - Foster High School Seniors

Foster High School is one of our area schools, and has great programs for all of it’s many students! It’s located in Richmond, Texas, and has a rich history behind the story of the founders. Many of our local high schoolers have called it home, including this guy, Nathan Haley. He is a graduate from Foster High School, and is now attending Texas Lutheran University. During his time in high school, he participated in golf, and says “the golf course is my favorite place on earth.” He has a big personality, and would describe himself as, “outgoing, competitive, and friendly”. Although high school was a really positive experience and he didn’t have many obstacles, he worked quite hard to keep his grades up and dreams of one day starting up his own business. “The Internship really was a book that was impactful to me”, he explains, “I also greatly look up to my dad. He is someone who is really knowledgeable, and looks at things different than other people.” Among his other favorites are: President Donald Trump, his Patagonia hoodie, and celebrity Jennifer Lawrence. 

I loved meeting him, and integrating all of his many accomplishments into this shoot. I especially liked adding in his varsity jacket that proudly showed off his state qualification in golf. One of the main things I express to my senior clients, is my personal desire to show off the many sides of being a senior in high school; whether that's sports, art, music, or career preparation. I am so proud to work with high schoolers, and feel grateful to be a part of their lives. 

I know Nathan has a very full time ahead of him at Texas Lutheran!

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Calling my 2019 Seniors!

Do you hear it? Yes, it's true! The sound of graduation is coming, faster than you might imagine. And while college applications, SAT scores, or the weight of senior year may be occupying your mind, it's never too early to think about senior portraits. I am delighted to be opening my applications for my senior team, and want to share what makes it so special! 

I know there are many senior photographers vying for your attention, but I believe every senior who chooses me is in for something extra special...something irreplaceable. It's all rooted in my belief that senior portraits come hand-in-hand with the senior portraits experience, and it's about much more than just photos. It's about confidence, beauty, and your individual passions. It's about being able to look back in years to come, with no regrets, and only happy memories of your senior session. Ready to hear more about my 2019 Squad?

To be part of my 2019 Gem Squad:

  • You must be a member of the Class of 2019 (woohoo!) 
  • You must represent Creations by Jewel exclusively, and only use CBJ for your senior portraits.
  • You need to be available for our amazing squad mini session in the Spring of 2018
  • You need to be ready to use your Creations by Jewel images for your social profiles
  • Participate in fun contests
  • Attending mandatory parent/senior informational session 
  • Follow me on social media to stay up to date!
  • Pay a session fee of $200
  • Your session fee includes: makeup for one mini and your solo senior session, gatherings, swag bag, your official squad tee, session premiere to view your final galleries (Does not include digital images, prints or products)

Why join the Gem Squad?

  • You receive not one but TWO sessions (your spring mini and your full session WITH pro makeup!)
  • Additional mini sessions/themed sessions with the squad
  • Customized smartphone all to show off your images to friends and family
  • Exclusive swag bag with goodies, and exclusive tee!
  • Gatherings, activities, and fun contests just for members 
  • CASH for referrals!
  • Mini family session that your parent or guardian will LOVE!
  • Not only that, but we are collaborating with Backwater Boutique to make your senior year even more fabulous and stylish! Because of their support, you will receive modeling opportunities, a discount card for purchases made at the boutique (while you are a squad member), and exclusive sales!
  • At your informational session, we will also share the opportunity for you to add on a destination session!

Interested?

I can't wait to share more about what truly sets us apart, but you will need to sign up soon. Our spots fill quickly, and we definitely don't want you to miss out!

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Three Things to Think About - Senior Photos in Downtown Houston

Allie was such a beautiful model, I wanted to share part two of her portrait session with you! You met her in THIS BLOG,  and more of her retro Hollywood glam session are below. I wanted to also share three things to think about when you begin or continue your search for your senior photographer (though I hope your search stops with me!). 

1) Your style: I hope you have taken time to browse my portfolio and previous blogs, in order to see my style and posing examples! I want my styling and session design to really match what you are hoping for, and knowing in advance is key to success! I also love for my clients to fill me in on their own personal style when it comes to hair and makeup, so we can make sure we are the perfect fit.

2) What you'll use your images for: I always want parents or guardians to get involved at this point, because sometimes seniors need photos for certain things, and don't realize what their parents may want! Some parents can't wait to display large art prints or wall hangings, while others can't wait to mail off graduation announcements. Occasionally, seniors just want a great yearbook photo, and others want prints to hand out to friends. It's really important to know what you'll be using your images for. 

3) The experience you want: Every senior is different, but every session goal is the same for me: an experience you won't forget. I want every client to walk away knowing they will be thrilled with their images, and that they would recommend me to a friend because of the fun they had! No matter who you choose as your senior photographer, these three things are important when you consider who might be best!

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Kathryn's Senior Photos - Katy, Texas Senior Photographer

As soon as I found out what a talented dancer Kathryn was, I began dreaming up how to incorporate her passion and skill into her shoot, in a creative way. I knew that such a smart, stylish, and amazing young woman would require me to truly bring my A-game (though I always try to bring that to my sessions!). Sure enough, Kathryn didn’t disappoint, and I think we really were able to capture every aspect of her wonderful personality! She’s a graduate of Foster High School, and during her time there, she was part of the National Honor Society, and the Foster Flairs drill team (where she was a Colonel). “One obstacle I faced in high school was keeping up with my extra-curricular activities”, she explained, “I also needed to maintain good grades, and I really learned the art of time management. My dance teacher, Mr. Adamson, was instrumental in teaching me grace, commitment, and perseverance.” 

As someone who describes herself as “determined, optimistic, and passionate”, she shared that she hoped her classmates would remember her as someone who was passionate about animals, and committed to dance.” Besides her many academic pursuits, she also enjoyed working with the Adamson Ballet Company, and working as a veterinarian assistant. “My dream job would certainly be a veterinarian, or a dance teacher,” she added. A few other things about Kathryn; she says her favorite place on earth would be Hawaii, and that her favorite color is maroon. She also loves Daryl Dixon (from the Walking Dead), and enjoys going to the movies when she has a day off. 

A special thanks to this beautiful young lady for choosing me to be her senior photographer, and giving me the honor of designing this special moment in your life!

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Lauren's Senior Session - Katy Texas Senior Photographer

A beautiful girl and a gorgeous pair of boots...Now, that's a pairing that set the stage for the perfect senior shoot here in Texas! Lovely senior Lauren is a graduate of Foster High School, where she loves participating in cheerleading. "I was a competitive cheerleader for almost ten years", she explained, "I became a school cheerleader, and experienced quite a bit of drama as team captain. I overcame these struggles by staying focused." Lauren also describes her time as a competitive cheerleader as "having a team who was like a family". Besides cheer, she enjoys being involved in FFA, 4-H, and the National Honor Society. I know her friendly, loyal, and fun personality is surely an asset in every activity she is involved in! 

As a teenager, Lauren believes it is important to be involved in current events, and says, "I enjoy watching Jessie Watters on Fox News, and I think there are many young people who aren't paying attention in school or to current events. It is important to know what is going on around you!" When she has a free afternoon, this grad enjoys reading and listening to music, being outdoors, and spending time with family and friends. Besides her parents, Lauren also considers Dr. Pol (a famous veterinary doctor) one of her role models, as she wants to become a veterinarian in the future. Texas A&M is her new college home, and she's very excited to get started on her future aspirations. 

Did you know that Lauren found my images on Instagram when she was looking for a senior photographer? She told me it was the "glamour and country" stylings that she fell in love with! You can find our Instagram HERE!

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