Category Archives: Senior Portraits

New Art in Photography | How To Decorate

Photography is art. And art in photography is created in so many ways to fit our style.

SMP, photography-art, prints
Art Comes Through in YOUR Images

After all our senior session fun, we can design art for your walls that will make your memories SPARKLE forever!

  • Classic Art:: Framed art of your images throughout the house
  • Painters Touch:: Framed prints mixed with frameless canvas’
  • Modern Art:: A design of mixed pieces that tell your story

Okay, true, you won’t find these definitions of art in the Webster’s but if you look back over generations you’ll see the transformation of art in photography. And know we should add them to the Webster. 😉

And with those changes over time I like to add new pieces of art to the SMP catalog.

With my Senior Collections you’re always given my full resolution images to print on your own. Because who hasn’t forgotten to order a print for sweet Aunt Betsy at Christmas.

My hand is raised for remembering I needed a print at the last minute. {Yep, even photographer’s do it.}

But for your STRIKING, POP-OFF-THE-WALL photography art, I have the perfect art to fit your style.

Art in Photography

I designed a new piece for my wall and it arrived last week! The best part, besides my beautiful Emma on my wall, is when I deliver your piece of art it will be ready to hang + shine on your wall.

I’m pretty sure you’re gonna love it too! Granted, Emma is personal to me, and you can’t have her, but I can design this piece of art with your favorite image or images that I photograph with you.

Not only can I create this modern, metal piece accented on a silk canvas backdrop, but we can sit and design a whole wall together.

I deconstructed one of my walls so you can see how one portrait can stand along, but to tell a complete story we can also collage your portraits with accents. It can be your story wall through the years!


I also share ideas like this on my my instagram story + feed whenever I order new pieces or work with clients to design their story.

Nicholas updates to this wall are up next after my busy senior season. He’ll be SO EXCITED!

We build our story one day + one art piece at a time. And by the time our Babies leave home to live their best life we have our walls filled with FOREVER memories to look back on.

Cheers & Sparkles

💖Andrea |Your Senior Photographer + Pretty Wall Art Maker

P.S. I offer a full catalog of SMP art pieces to fit your style + tell your story.

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    What To Do When You Want Urban Photography & Mom Wants Natural

    Urban photography versus nature for your senior portraits.

    It’s a household debate that happens more than flipping the quarter to see who empties the dishwasher.

    urban-photography, senior-photographer, st-charles-photographer, sycamore-photographer
    Urban photography AND natural

    What can we do when you want a city vibe but don’t live in an urban area for your senior pictures?

    How do you compromise when one wants the park and another an urban backdrop?

    Well first, you email, text, or call me and I can take care of all those details with you, or for you, you choose 😉

    {But not before I’ve had my coffee. I have limited band-width before coffee.}

    After coffee I have a shiny basket full of places we can draw from to plan your final high school moment. However, if all my senior sessions are booked I have tips before you go looking.

    When you want an urban look + color pop but don’t live in the city…

    Urban photography ideas to help on your search::

    1/ Look at the area + narrow your eyes to the details

    I look for locations where I can get a lot of different looks. Abbie wanted pops of color and more urban photography, but Mom wanted a few for her walls that had trees, flowers, and grass. When I went scouting for them I had those two requests in mind.

    I looked for an area, then I focused on small spots with good lighting, bright colors, but also had grass + flowers near by.

    2/ Posing turns urban photography into nature

    The tree shots and rose bushes + shabby chic white are all taken about a Russell Wilson football throw away from each other. Maybe a wee-bit further {our Seahawks QB has a really good arm}. The rose bushes weren’t more than toddler-height tall so creative posing + camera angle came in to get both a “pop of color” + nature.

    urban-photographer, urban-photography, urban, highschool-senior-photographer

    3/ A 30-40 minute drive can change the whole story

    I offer Senior Collections where we take a short drive to St Charles, Geneva, or Batavia to get fun urban photography too.

    Make a day of your senior pictures and go for a drive to walk among the bustle of people + buildings. Afterwards go out to dinner and celebrate capturing some forever memories.

    If I’m the privileged one to capture your story, I’ll help you with everything! I have location ideas + wardrobe + prep checklist + camera-ready makeup tips + Pinterest boards + a changing room… {Yes, I said changing room. There’s a lot of people walking around, you need a place to change.}

    Cheers & Sparkles

    💖Andrea | Your Happy Scout for your urban photography

    P.S. Two Fall dates left or you can reserve your date for Spring sessions.

    P.P.S If I don’t get to see your beautiful self in front of my lens, I hope these tips help and that you HAVE AN AMAZINGLY-AWESOME senior year!

    urban-photographer, st-charles-photographer, geneva-il, batavia-il, st-charles-il
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      St Charles Photographers | Where do we go in the changing seasons

      Where should we go in the changing seasons with your St Charles photographers?

      Urban, natural, bright and colorful, or a combination. I scout out locations all the time to find the right fit to your final high school senior story.

      You can call it attention to details, a photographer loving her job, or, some might say, “obsessive for getting it jussssst right”

      So when you come to me for your final high school memory I’m going to look for places that fit your personality + your high school chapter.

      What does that even mean?

      You’re going to change after high school. You’ll change a lot after high school. The last four years have been spent walking the halls of the same place, and mostly your same people. But senior year is called your year of lasts because each event, sport, musical…





      in the very same way.

      And as your senior photographer I capture the best you before you leave high school to live your best life! To jump out and make all those dreams you’ve planned – come true.

      Hey St Charles Photographers, where do we go when the seasons change from Summer to Fall?

      1/ Your Senior Questionnaire

      I look at your answers to get a peek of your likes + dislikes. What’s important to you now, school activities, hobbies…

      2/ Is Your ‘Look’ Urban or Natural?

      I find unlikely locations to create your senior story + have some FUN. Abbie loves pops of color. Yes, she typed those exact words on her questionnaire. And in this drought the last few weeks that request was a true challenge. For me, as Sycamore, DeKalb, St Charles photographers, I scout around.

      Take notice of your surroundings.

      I found Abbie’s location going for a bike ride. Go for a drive, a walk, or jump on your bike and start seeing unconventional places that we can turn into your perfect backdrop.

      {Of course, if you don’t want to, I can take care of narrowing down the locations for you.}

      st-charles-photographer, senior-photographer, photographer-portraits
      St Charles Photographers looking around Northern Illinois

      3/ What’s Your Comfort Level?

      I’ve been photographing seniors for a very long time. When a senior is uncomfortable in the setting {+ clothes} it shows in the images.

      If you love the city + all the activity moving around you, then walking the sidewalks around Geneva, St. Charles, and Batavia may be your backdrop.

      But ask yourself, “Will I be comfortable walking + POSING with all the people watching and staring?”

      You shine when you’re most comfortable where you are + what you wear.

      SMP TIP:: Try on all your outfits a week before your shoot from head-to-toe. {accessories included}

      Sharing your shine in Shining Moments Photography

      Three quick ideas to think about in the changing seasons for your senior portraits.

      And one more…

      We all love the Fall leaves here in Northern Illinois. But there are a lot of other backdrops that can bring out your sparkle too. Let’s chat and find YOUR BEST SHINE!

      Cheers & Sparkles to your Wednesday!

      💖Andrea | St Charles Photographers for your Senior Portraits

      P.S. Yes. I’m a senior + headshot photographer. Yes. I like pretty pictures + telling a story…But I love making life easier + fun in your day-to-day and month!

      st-charles-photographers, urban-locations, urban
      St Charles Photographers | Northern Illinois

      P.P.S Sparkle Notes for new tips + ideas once-a-month

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        3 Ways to Save Teenagers + Mom’s Sanity This Fall

        goals, teenagers, mom-of-teenagers, photography

        Hey there busy Teenager + Mom~

        We might be a little less busy these days, just a tad. But sprinkle in extra stress, add online school + reduced social interactions and the recipe might not be so hot for teenagers + mom.

        WE ALL NEED THIS PIECE THIS WEEK! Seriously! I try to write about things that help you, interest you, and yes, share pretty pictures.

        This week is no different in that I hope to peak your interest + learn small ways to tweak your days in big ways.

        Let me start with a story. Because we like stories right?

        Fall is my busy season with teenagers.

        Every Fall in Northern Illinois my calendar is full of high school seniors + headshot clients. It’s mostly seniors, because it’s the last-first-days of their final year in the high school halls {this year, online halls}.

        Most seniors here LOVE FALL! So from August through October I arrange my calendar to capture the story of seniors, and I love it!

        However, there’s a trade-off with this hustle season for me::

        • The snacks {and treats} at my desk increase
        • Skipping lunch happens often
        • My exercise routine is cut short
        • I’ve forgotten to drink enough water
        • Coffee should be in drip form instead of from a cup some days

        This Fall is DIFFERENT!

        Even if I’m not the right senior photographer for your teenager, I can still help you get some big improvements in these crazy days. Story over.

        Now to those 3 teenager + mom time-savers I mentioned…

        I have three resources for you with two books {free if you check them out from the library} + a short course.

        I clicked on these all in the last 3 months and they all kinda pieced together to organize my schedule in a different way this season.

        The hydration course grabbed me, yes, almost literally, after reading a line on her blog, “Eat your water.” That kinda stuff always hooks me, and I don’t even like to fish. {I’m full of bad puns.} I’ve had at least 48-ounces of water almost every day since I gave up Dr. Pepper one Lent many suns ago, but come to find out there’s a better way to get my water {and it’s not just one clear straw cup after another}.

        In her course she walks you through one simple step per day + gives added resources if you want more water knowledge. It’s not all about chugging one clear cup after another {thank goodness}.

        From that course I found the book Quench. It went into more details of how water fuels every part of our bodies + a better way to get it + KEEP IT in our systems. You can buy the book, or check it out from the library.

        Side Note:: I’m a huge fan of the public library. There’s some debate of where is all started, but for brevity’s sake I’ll thank Benjamin Franklin and the Library Company of Philadelphia for giving us libraries.

        Last, the book Better in 5 came to me this week from one of my podcasts.

        That 5 stands for 5-minutes. Just 5 minutes three times/day.

        If you need help with calculus I’m not your girl, but there are a few math problems I can rattle off with speed…my times-tables from grade school + any percentage discount when it comes to shoe shopping.👠👞👢

        5×3=15-minutes-per-day to revive your Fall…That’s it!

        I have to get back to editing, and I can’t possibly do his book justice in this short time, but I hope you peek at the link so you get the idea of how

        we can all do this – YOU CAN DO THIS TEENAGERS + MOM!

        I have the best intentions not to repeat bad habits each Fall season. This year, my senior season will not over-run me thanks to this final piece to my hustle puzzle. I’m only half-way into Dr. Chatterjee’s book, but I’ve already added a line on my daily, “You’ve Got This” list {translation:: “to-do” list}.

        15-minutes a day.

        All three of these came together to help me see that while I love what I do, I can’t sacrifice my health.Or my families when I send them to the oatmeal/cereal canister or offer scrambled eggs for the 4th night in a row.

        If you try any or all three I’d love to hear your side of the story.

        I hope one or all help ya out!

        Cheers & Sparkles to your busy start to school!

        💖Andrea |Your Fall Senior Photographer

        P.S. I feel in the times of influencer-mania I should tell you I don’t get any compensation from these links. I’m a Mom of teenagers + busy small business photographer who likes to share things I love. And if I can also make someone{s} life easier…WIN-WIN!

        P.P.S. If you’ve been with me in my Instagram or Facebook feeds you know that I like my coffee, share ways to get in water, different kinds of exercise {and the funny meme’s to go along with it}. If I can help or INSPIRE you then come join us!

        water, teenagers, healthy-lifestyle

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          Photographer for Senior Pictures | Senior Guy

          Hey there! I’m back again, ya know, your photographer for senior pictures.

          However, this week I’m showing you how we have fun on a SENIOR GUY shoot! I’m the photographer for senior pictures for ALL!

          I know the guys are thinking, “Senior photos + fun…doesn’t happen!”

          OHHHH – but it does happen. You still don’t believe me! Let me show you!

          Senior-Photographer, photographer-senior-pictures

          Do you play sports? What instrument do you play? Do you act or dance? How about a book lover? Is there a classic car you’ve rebuilt? Just like planning for a senior girl session, I’ve curated so many stories for guys too.

          However, I really get senior guy’s attention when I tell them…

          I plan it all for you if you want, so you just have show up.

          Oh yes, you read that right!

          Whether you’re a Mom reading this, or a senior guy {because Mom made you read it}, let me make it interesting for you.

          You answer the questionnaire that gives me some of your likes {and the dislikes} and I take care of putting it all together for you until we meet up on your senior portraits day. Even then I make it FUN, or at the bare minimum, easy + less than an hour of your whole day.

          sycamore-senior-photographer, photographer-senior-pictures

          Let me show {and tell} you an example::

          Here’s James.

          Let’s say you’re an athlete like James.

          James played for the Spartan’s at Sycamore High School. He loves the sport, so I took him to a baseball mound to…

          PLAY BALL! {Did ya hear that booming umpire voice in your head? I practiced it just for you.}

          We played while we shot by asking him to pitch, throw, catch in the outfield. Get the idea? We took action shots + he didn’t feel like we were just posing for pictures the entire time.

          Although, being a photographer for senior pictures we did take some in his uniform in a woodsy location instead of the typical playing field.

          It’s another WIN-WIN!

          At the time of his senior pictures we didn’t know he’d play baseball through college. So Mom having these images of where it all started is having another forever memory that’s unrepeatable.

          When I asked him to pose with his bat + mitt, I captured posed images for Mom, but he was happier having something to do/hold.

          For many of my athletic seniors, their uniforms are a part of them. They live in them really. And it’s a big part of their high school memories.

          Let’s get any and all of those high school pieces into your images in creative ways.

          high-school-Senior-Photography, baseball-player
          sycamore-senior-photographer, baseball

          This location is actually on land owned by his family, in a wooded area on the outskirts of town. I did his sister McKenna’s senior photos as well, and his mom wanted to include some of the same locations for a cohesive look. Way to go Mom!

          Do you have a location in mind for your senior pictures? Let’s chat about it.

          Sycamore-High-School, senior-photographer-near-me

          Last little tip for you… Fall is a VERY POPULAR time in Illinois.

          VERY POPULAR!

          {Again said in my booming umpire voice😉}

          My senior list for Fall has 3 sessions left, so I hope you step up to the plate soon.

          If you’re a 2021 senior and even think you’ll be wanting senior portraits this Fall, now is the time to::

          and ask questions, request a quote, reserve your session. We don’t get to repeat these LASTS of high school AND I whole heartedly try my darn-dest to have fun!

          So senior guys, make Mom happy beyond belief and ask her if she’s scheduled your session with Shining Moments Photography.


          💖Andrea | Your Senior Guy Photographer

          P.S. Signing up for the SMP e-mail list TODAY will keep you in-the-know for the SMP upcomings of tomorrow!

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          senior-photographers-near-me, senior-guys

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            Shining Moments Photography | Sycamore, IL | 815.751.2247