Category Archives: Senior Portraits

10 Reasons Why You’ll Fall Head over Heels in Love with Senior Year

My heart is always a little bittersweet as I get ready to send off my seniors!

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Although it’s always a little hard to see these amazing young people become adults, my emotions are ALWAYS overwhelmed with excitement more than anything else! I’m a mom myself + feel that tug of these seniors leaving the nest, which leaves me excited + anxious at the same time. Senior year is amazing and filled with last memories.

All of your school moments that you’ve experienced – from bummer to breathtaking – have brought you to this year. This is your year of lasts & it’s time to celebrate it! True, there’s also a lot of planning to be done, college applications, {and I have a checklist to help with that}, take the ACT one more time…but TODAY, in this moment,

there are 10 reasons I want you to fall in love with your senior year!

You can make THIS year outshine the rest!

1. You’re finally at the top

You’re finally a senior which is great! You have a lot going on, but remember those first years, + help out that lonely or confused freshmen. Those at the top shine brightest when they lift others up!

2. Your brain is not a day, week, month planner…It’s time to get organized and start making a list of what needs to get done

Whether it’s a paper list or app, NOW is time for Organization 101 – it relieves a lot of stress. I’m the queen of stress…and also the queen of lists. Don’t leave your high school halls still writing with a Sharpie on the back of your hand #whatpaperisduetoday

3. Remember that every game, concert, play…is your last as part of the student body – don’t sit home all year – go out and enjoy a few of the LASTS! Yes, study hard, but also make time for the fun stuff!

4. Get those senior pictures done. Seriously! 

…But even if I’m not your senior photographer {I know, crazy talk}, GET SENIOR PORTRAITS!

Capture your best self NOW, before you head off to live your best life!

And for the guys, I know it seems like the worst day ever to go get senior pictures, but it makes us Moms over the moon happy – if not for you, do it for your Mom.

5. Careful what you post on your social media

I’m sure you’ve already heard this a 100x, but whenever you put something out on Instagram, Snapchat, Twitter and the next big social app – it becomes PUBLIC for anyone…including a future boss and college admissions board. Keep it clean!

6. Be real!

I’m as guilty as the next person of being attached to my phone, but when you’re sitting in a group of friends – BE WITH YOUR FRIENDS – you may not see most of these people ever again once you toss your grad hat in the air on graduation day.

7. Work hard + play hard

Yep, your grades, clubs, extra curricular’s are all important, but equally important is having fun with your friends & family. Keep stress in check!

8. Don’t be afraid to say goodbye

When one door closes, another one opens is a phrase that rings true:

This is a year of LASTS, so yes, it’s a big year. But moving out into a new chapter to start living your best life is exciting too. No need to be scared of it, look at it as your next great adventure.

9. If there have been things you’ve been scared to try – this is the year to try it!

You’re still at home + have your family near if it fails and need someone to lean on…which brings me to my next point

10. This is the time to appreciate your family

Don’t forget to love and appreciate the people who helped you on your journey so far! Make time to take your siblings to ice cream, or to write your parents a note.  Appreciate people who’ve been there for you.

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Your senior story tailored to you down to the little details. Let’s make sure we tell your story before you’re off to live your next chapter!

2020 Seniors click your badge of honor to reserve your senior session today!

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I capture your best self, before you head off to live your best life!



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    Are You Sure You’re Ready For Senior Year?

    2020 seniors head back to class in little over a month, so this week we’re having a blog re-cap to put some senior help in one spot for ya!

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    Your senior portrait day is part of the FUN of senior year, but there’s a lot of work that needs to be done too.

    You’re allllllll-most done, but there’s still a long way to go {sorry if I’m the first to break that to ya}.

    The GOOD NEWS is that I’ve been immersed in high school + senior year life for awhile now and I’ve collected some good intel to help ya. I’m not writing your college application essay for you though.

    Been there – done that – don’t wanna go back!

    Juniors:: Decide whether you’re taking the SAT or the ACT. Colleges accept both scores. I know Midwest colleges lean toward the ACT and Northwest colleges lean toward the SAT, but as long as you have a score from one of the tests you’re good. Your high school typically administers at least one of these tests to you during the school day too.

    We’ve been ACT-takers in our house, and if you are too then here are five tips to help you prep ⇒ ACT Prep

    Still looking or haven’t started visiting colleges yet? Check these two blog pieces:: College Comparison Checklist + College Tips

    When does the application window open:: If you’ve narrowed down the colleges you’re applying to know when the application opens AND the last day to apply. That also includes not waiting until the last minute to apply, send your letters of rec, write your essay, fill out the FASFA…

    Whad-da-ya mean I need a yearbook photo? Every 2020 senior gets that postcard in the mail to get their senior yearbook photo taken. Take a look at the yearbook photo post to get the whole story on if you HAVE to go.

    If you’re planning to have a graduation party, then my Graduation Party Checklist is a MUST-HAVE!

    And last BUT DEFINITELY NOT LEAST {in my book} get your senior portraits scheduled! You only graduate high school once, so make sure it gets captured!

    I capture your best self before you head off to live your best life!

    Cheers! 💖-Andrea

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      4 Ridiculously Fun Ideas For Your Senior Pictures!

      Your senior pictures are right around the corner, and I have four ridiculously fun photo ideas that don’t have you wearing your grad hat!


      You’ve got a life story + your high school senior story is a BIG ONE that needs told. I’m your visual storyteller of this big moment {or photographer for the plain ol’ way to say it}.

      So yes, I believe EVERY HIGH SCHOOL SENIOR should pause and get senior portraits taken before it all ends.

      Have you thought about that?

      Senior year is the last year – it’s the year of lasts – it’s the end of the line – drop the mic – close-the-curtain-on-high-school kinda year!

      Things are about to change after high school and capturing this big moment is a forever memory for both you + Mom.

      Now that we agree senior pictures are a must – Let’s chat about how we can have some FUN and not stand there like a big-eyed bunny about to race away::

      1. Remember Where You’re From – When Amber showed up in this dress at my studio, questions started racing through my head like the stock exchange ticket tracker. She has such a colorful personality, and then she adds a piece of her heritage in her dress, and BAM… let’s play the music and have some photo fun. Can you hear her laugh? It’s infectious, so if you haven’t – you’re missing out.

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      2. Do you dance? Love a sport like LeBron? A musical Mozart? Ride horses?… Brooke has taken dance + cheer throughout high school, and we’d miss a piece of her senior story if we didn’t include pictures of that love.

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      3. LIGHTS! CAMERA! ACTION! Do you love fashion, new style trends, practicing new eye makeup, and/or model-like posing? Senior pictures is your chance to bring out your inner Gaga. Let’s plan all the on-point outfits – even your favorite prom dress – get all glammed, and walk the red carpet for fabulously-fun images!

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      4. Trains – Planes – Motorcycles. Nope, it’s not Jake’s Harley, but he loved to ride it. {It’s his Mama’s bike ;)}

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      Seniors, let’s plan your final high school story that lets you – PLAY – HAVE FUN – RELAX – and just BE YOU!

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        Senior Pictures – 5 Reasons You Need Them

        I don’t have time to get senior pictures.

        I don’t want to get senior pictures.

        Why do I need senior pictures?

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        Obviously I’ve always thought senior portraits were a big deal and I have a 29, okay 30, reasons why you should have senior portraits before graduating high school. I’ve got my first senior in the house for 2020 and that means we’re looking at colleges this summer to find her next home-away-from-home. After our latest college visits I’ve added another reason {that makes 31} for taking time to plan those senior pictures into your crazy-busy schedule.

        Let me tell ya a story about Elizabeth.

        We had a one-on-one tour with ‘Tour Guide Elizabeth” at one of the campus’ we toured in Washington.

        Elizabeth “lives” in Arizona.

        I put “lives” in quotes because she doesn’t really live there anymore. She’ll be going into her junior year next Fall and she’s decided to stay and work on campus + take a summer class. I asked her if she was going home over the break and her response was hit me – like a sucker-punch to your throat – kinda hit me!

        “I’ll go home for a week to get the token-mom visit.”

        “SAY WHAT!”

        Those two words were the monologue scream in my head. What I said out loud to her was,

        “What does ‘token-mom visit’ mean?” Trying to sound nonchalant about it, but not so sure I pulled that act off.

        She said her friends, job, and classes are all on campus now and there’s not really much for her to do at home anymore except see her parents. After a week she’s ready to get back to her life. Totally get it + we want that for our kids, but holy moly that was another peek into how much life is about to change.

        So there’s reason #1 why you need senior pictures – a REALLY BIG REASON

        • \Reason 1:: Things are about to change BIG TIME and we don’t get to go back to the land of “all under one roof”

        True, they may come home during their holidays or be heading to community college for a few years, but after heading onto campus they start their next adventure and for the most part – it’s without us {am I the only one who’s feeling their chest tighten?}.

        • \Reason 2:: This will be their last ‘formal’ portrait until their wedding

        Let reason #2 sink in for a sec. With everyone clicking their smartphones these days some think they don’t need to take time to plan an actual photo session anymore. There are big moments in life way before your wedding day that deserve formal portraits. Graduating high school and leaving home is like being born again {stick with me}! So much is going to change and when our 2020 seniors head off on their own for school they’re going to be experiencing so many things {like a baby discovering things for the first time}. Don’t give up this chance for your senior – WITH YOUR SENIOR!

        • \Reason 3:: It’s fun!

        So many seniors are under a lot of pressure and senior portraits is a day for them. A day for Mom’s. A day to HAVE FUN! We plan the wardrobe together, talk about your style, I make the playlist, organize our locations and what to include so the most important pieces in your life RIGHT NOW, in this chapter are captured forever! Take an afternoon to celebrate with portraits that you can look back on just before + after her wedding day.

        • \Reason 4:: We want them to freeze time that speeds by like Danica Patrick on race day.

        How many times have you looked back at the baby pictures, baby book, or have baby pictures on your wall? Senior pictures are one of those milestone moments that only comes along once and if we let is pass without the photo memory it’ll fade way too soon. Freeze their last year of high school just like those newborn, toddler, Baptism, family portrait moments. We aren’t getting a do-over on this one.

        • \Reason 5:: Summer Sunset Sessions

        I’ve been writing a lot about how I’ll be going through the 2020 school year of lasts with my baby girl + how I’ll be making it extra special to celebrate it! Going out to my Sparkle Notes Friends next week is the first way I want 2020 to be an extra-special school year for all of us. So if you haven’t jumped into Sparkle Notes – this is the time! I only send out e-mail once-a-month and THIS MONTH is a goodie! They’re all good each month, but this one is better than drinking a glass of lemonade while getting a foot massage.


        It’s that good!

        Don’t let this big chapter pass. Take the time to schedule your senior session and have that piece of the story captured forever. And yes, even if I’m not the photographer for you, I’m still begging you not to pass this chance up before it vanishes. POOF! GONE! Just like that!

        Cheers & Sparkles!


        PS – Here are a few other pieces that might help you out too::

        Senior Portrait:: 4 Tips

        10 Reasons to Love Senior Year

        And those Sparkle Notes

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          Whad-da-ya mean!?

          I got THAT card in the mail! Whad-da-ya mean we have senior yearbook photos this week?

          In all caps at the top of the postcard was, “YOUR APPOINTMENT TIME IS BELOW”

          Juniors have barely finished their finals and they’re already shuffled back into school for their Senior yearbook photos. No rest for the 2020’s yet.

          But, DID YOU KNOW you can schedule the Basic Package to go in and take your photo for the yearbook and be done? See, some high schools require you to take the yearbook photo with the school’s company, but you can get your senior portraits with ANYONE YOU WANT.  If you want more than a snapshot to celebrate your unrepeatable year, then get your yearbook photo taken at the high school and then schedule your senior portraits – THE FUN ONES!

          2020 is a year of lasts for your high school days and so much can change after graduation. Senior year is a milestone that you’ll want to look back at 10, 20, + 30 years from now.

          “Whoa Mom, that’s some big hair!”

          “WOW Mom, I didn’t know your hair was so curly, did ya get-a perm?”

          via GIPHY

          Two questions my kiddos have asked when they saw my senior portraits at Nonna & Papa’s house. Senior portrait sessions have changed since then, but we still have the memory to look back at, remember, and yeah, for my kiddos to laugh at. But isn’t that part of our best memories? Looking back at life, before adulthood, before college, marriage, kids… It’s all a piece of family history that should NEVER be left to the memory inside our heads.

          Memories should be photographed + shared for years and years.

          And before this senior year flashes by with all the other stuff that’s gonna need checked off the list, you need to make this senior year a memory everyone can look back on {and laugh with you when you’re looking at all the fun you had on


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          If you don’t know much about me, you can start here:: Who is Shining Moments?  Here are a few other resources to see if you wanna hang out + get more information…

          SMP Experience Guide

          Senior Collections

          Interested, but not quite ready to reserve your session? I offer so many free resources to help you 25 Tips for Senior Portraits, Camera-Ready Makeup, or 6 Tips for Your Best Head Shot.

          If you have a question or want to reserve your date, drop me a line.

          Life’s too short not to HAVE FUN – MAKE PHOTO MEMORIES – AND DANCE!

          Cheers & Sparkles


          PS – Stay beautiful – be you – dance like nobody’s watching

          PPS – Even if I’m not the right senior photographer for your moment I really – really – REALLY hope you capture this last high school memory!

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