Viewing entries tagged
tips for teens

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Strategies for Overcoming Challenges

As a small business owner and also someone who works with high school seniors, I know that challenges are a part of life. As a photographer, I run into challenges whether it’s location changes, lengthy editing sessions, or trying to juggle being a mother and wife along with a professional…they pop up from time to time, even though I adore my job. I’ve discovered some great strategies to dealing with problems in a constructive way, and I wanted to share them with you. Especially as we head into a new year, it’s great to have some tools in your arsenal to deal with any challenges that may arise. 

Source: Pexels

Source: Pexels

-Keep perspective: Decide if a problem is worth getting upset over. Often, I realize that something that seems huge at the time may actually not be that big of a deal. One good way to figure this out is to sleep on a big decision or problem, in order to calm down and figure out what is needed to solve it. Trying to solve something stressful when you are hungry, tired, or grumpy is never a good idea, and can cause your perspective to be super skewed and out of bounds!

-Try some calming techniques before you tackle a problem: Deep breathing, essential oils, and positive mantras are just some of the ways you can calm yourself down before dealing with a difficult person or situation. Take a few deep breaths with an essential oil like Stress Away, in order to help increase your calmness. Also remember to schedule a hard meeting or phone call in a time in your day when you can focus and be well rested!

-Remember that facts and emotions are sometimes different: I know when I am facing an obstacle, sometimes my emotions get the best of me and I forget the facts of the situation. Facts like what actually occurred, or what needs to happen next. Some good questions to ask yourself are, “What is making me upset in this situation”, “What do I need this person or business to do about it”, and “What needs to occur next”. Sometimes, you may realize your frustration is directed at the wrong person or place, and that perhaps they cannot do anything to fix it. If you are struggling to know what to do, try writing out a list of the main points to keep yourself focused. 

-Bring in a third party if you are stuck: If you’re a teen struggling with a teacher or friends, bringing in another objective adult like a parent or family friend can help bring some help to a situation that you may need a fresh opinion on. It can also help to ask advice from someone who is not affiliated with any of the “sides” of the issue or situation, because they often can come up with solutions you may not have thought of. If you are a teen dealing with a company or organization, it can be helpful to bring in your spouse or parent to assist you if you feel you are not being taken seriously. 

-Resolve to move on if things cannot be resolved: Sometimes a relationship or problem simply cannot be solved in a way where both parties feel satisfied. I have found it’s good to let it go and move on, without letting it fester or become a bitter sticking point for me. If I have done everything in my power to be reasonable and try to solve the problem, sometimes it is necessary to let it go, if at all possible, so I can maintain positivity and happiness in my own life!



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Your Friends are Heading off to College...Now What?

While college is a pretty natural choice for many seniors, there are several for whom another path is where their life is taking them...and you may be one of those. It can be surprising to the ones around you, but you're not alone. Many seniors choose to forego college to many other exemplary options, such as joining the military, starting an awesome new job, or going to community college. Although it can be lonely and unconventional, these are really worthwhile options, and you should never feel ashamed for choosing a different journey. Here are a few ideas on how to handle this time when your friends are getting ready to head off to their universities:

Source: pexels

Source: pexels

-Support them: It might feel awkward, and even lonely if you are the only one who has chosen to not go "away" to college. But your friends (your true ones) will love and support you, no matter what you have decided, and it's up to you to do the same for them. Attend their graduation parties, say your goodbyes, and help them get started on their big move with an awesome attitude. Your friends will always remember that you stood by them and truly celebrated their accomplishments.

-Find the positives: Maybe going away to college was what you hoped for, and it didn't work out, whether it was too expensive or you didn't get into your dream school. This can feel completely crushing, and can feel like your world is crashing down around you. Instead of wallowing in the hardships, find the positives to focus on, when you can. Here are a few: less student debt if you choose a less expensive school, the ability to live at home or work part time (thus offsetting alot of student loans), and time with loved ones in your hometown or close by. 

-Search for ways to enhance your college years: Even without college or at a community college, you don't need to miss out on the traditional college experience. Look for ways to join clubs, choirs or even sororities wherever you are at, and figure out creative ways to make new friends. If you are joining the workforce right away, seek out opportunities to meet up with co-workers for meals or fun activities, and remember to have some fun! 

-Don't apologize: Even if staying close to home, or joining the military wasn't your first choice, you don't need to explain or validate your choices to the people around you. You don't need to justify your choices, even if they were hard ones. Stand strong in your decision, and be proud of your hard work. You graduated high school, after all, and that's nothing to scoff at. No matter what you do next, be sure to own it. You're an adult now, and you can be proud of the choices you've made if you are confident they are the right ones.

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How to Budget for Your Senior Session

The dreaded topic of money is usually the item that so many clients and their parents bring up first. It is an investment to have professional senior portraits done, and often, it can be tight for families who live paycheck to paycheck, or who want to provide their senior the best experience at an affordable price. As parent of a graduate, I know the many places your pocketbooks are being pulled: college expenses, textbooks, car maintenance, and graduation parties/expenses. I wanted to share some creative ways to budget today, so it might encourage and help clients who are considering a senior shoot (and wondering how to pay for one). We are just one of many professional senior portraits services here in Texas, and our signature selling point is that we understand our clients. I hope these tips can help you!

Source: Pexels

Source: Pexels

Divide out your needed amount way back at the start of junior year: If you are a parent of a junior who is reading this, nope, it's not too early! In fact, many parents start searching for a senior photographer as early as sophomore or junior year, and it's never too early to begin saving. After you've found a photographer you love, try to get a ballpark figure (ask your photographer for their session fee and their average investment costs, and take into account that many photographers raise their prices each year). Divide that amount by the number of months before the time when your session would take place (don't forget to ask what payments are due when). Make this number your monthly savings goal and set it aside. When your session rolls around, you may not have the exact amount yet, but you should be close, and it will alleviate the major crunch of paying for it all at once.

Get creative with raising money: Saving things as little as pop cans, or putting change in a jar can really add up. Although these things are not fast ways to earn money, every little bit helps. Larger ways to raise money such as yard sales are also a great idea. You can buddy up with a friend to earn money simultaneously, and have a "multi family" yard sale. Shoppers are more likely to come to larger sales, so if you can find a friend and split your profits, it can work out great for everyone.

Go through your closet and take clothes to a consignment shop: Most of us have tons of clothes and shoes we don't wear anymore. Taking them to a good consignment store or selling them online can be a wonderful way to earn money for your senior wardrobe or your session fee. Plato's Closet or similar consignment shops can be perfect, although your take might be small. Try EBay or Poshmark for higher-end items (like LuluLemon or Anthropologie) to get a little more bang for your buck...some nicer brands go for close to retail prices if they are in great shape. Be sure to wash, iron, and remove any pet hair from your clothes to increase your chances of selling them for a good price. 

Request contributions to your "photo fund" for birthdays/holidays. If you have eager grandparents or family members who enjoy giving gifts for holidays and birthdays, encourage them to put money towards your senior session instead. This way, they can be a part of your special journey, and give something much more meaningful than a trinket or memento. Be sure to send a sincere thank-you...and plenty of prints when they are done! 

Turn in books or DVD's on Amazon or a local book store: Amazon has a buyback program for some books and dvd's that are in great shape. This solution can help you clear out clutter and raise a little money in the meantime. They typically accept books and media in great shape, and will give you a few dollars per item, based on demand. It won't make a big difference to your fund, but could also be put towards clothing or college needs. 

Make a spreadsheet to track expenses and income for the senior shoot. This will help you keep your eye on the goal, and prevent unnecessary spending. If you can see progress, you are more likely to stick with your savings plan. You can also enter in extra money that you earn to get to your goal faster. If you are wondering how to find any extra money in the first place, begin tracking your regular expenses (parents and seniors can benefit from this), and see where you may be overspending. That daily latte or dry cleaning or Target run might be sucking up more money than you realized!

Let me know if you have questions or concerns about paying for your senior session, and I will gladly help direct you to resources or ideas. 

 

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