Category Archives: Senior Portraits

Do You Know Where You’re Going? | Sycamore Illinois Photographer

They lost their first tooth at school.

We went on the first school field trip with the class.

We snapped pictures the day their braces came off.

They grew three inches over the Summer.

Everyone survived the first day of freshmen year.

They tossed their graduation cap in the air and

POOF! …

The high school days are over!

Time to make some grown-up decisions…Are they ready? Are WE ready?

I’ve heard it all, Seniors who knew exactly where they wanted to go to college + what they wanted to do, or Seniors that have a few interests they want to pursue but not 100% ready, or  those who have no idea yet.  We get caught up in our routines of having everything laid out and hope the chapter after high school will lay out that same kinda path.

For some of us, it totally works that way. With my teens I always use their Dad in that scenario. He’s had the same goal since day one and his career will be the same until he retires. He’s always loved his career choice. No surprise to me, I fall in that gray area for a life plan. I got what I thought was my “Dream Job” right out of college, but turns out there’s more than one dream job for me. I’m on my third.

Don’t put so much stress when applying to college {I know easier said than done}.

Our teens may have no idea where they want their career path to go right now. And THAT’S OKAY!  They have a lot of different interests, and not sure how to narrow that down or how to apply them into a career.

Their interests may not play into a career at all.  I love nutrition + researching healthy recipes, but I didn’t go to college to be a nutritionist.

They might know exactly what to do + started putting a plan into place before graduation.  Owen fits into both of these categories.  He loves playing basketball, hunting, and cooking. Great interests, but as far as his career path he’s started putting his goals into place, and they don’t match those three interests.  This determined senior made a bold decision and signed up to serve with the National Guard. He’s not only working toward his career goal, but serving us too.

THANK YOU OWEN for serving our country!

As he’s serving in the National Guard he’s also getting things lined up for a career in accounting. I envy all of you who can work with math all day… It gives this gal someone to hire to take care of my taxes in the future 😉

Owen knows exactly where he’s going right now! Even if he changes his mind later, I know he’s determined enough to make any of his goals happen. He’s also got stellar family support to guide him along the way too.  The last image of his parents NOT being in Seahawks colors is a minor flaw. None of us are perfect.😉  They’ve done an awesome job raising this smart, talented, + giving guy! He’s on his way to doing great things in his next chapter.

 

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Shine On Friends

SHOW THE WORLD YOUR KIND OF BEAUTIFUL!

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    Senior Guys & The Memories They Give Their Mom’s | Sycamore Illinois

    This senior season is filled with senior guys this year. I typically have two-or-three senior guys each Fall, but this year the calendar has been filling up with guy style!

    Which means…

    All 5-foot-3-inches of me should buy a travel step-stool for these sessions, because they are WAY TALLER than me + my camera!

    Most senior guys don’t hate having senior portraits, but they aren’t necessarily planning their session for weeks in advance either.

    They do however love their Mom’s and having THIS Memory is something they’re willing do for her.

    I say it all the time, but this really is the Year of Lasts and having senior portraits is a big deal for both Mom + Senior.  We take hundreds, if not thousands of photos of the baby + toddler years when that cute little guy changes so fast. But there is a huge gap between those toddler years and senior year. True, there are family portraits over the years, but in the craziness of senior year I think we forget that this year is the end of so many things.

    We’re excited about college visits and getting THE acceptance letter, stressed over ACT scores, happy to finally be the senior class, and also ready to move on to the next chapter.

    A lot of things will change next Fall and stopping to get this moment they’re in right now becomes more special than you realize.

    Brett’s a busy senior but we stopped to fit in his senior moment. Due to his varsity soccer schedule, these rainy days, + a few unpredictable events that popped up, it took us 3 times to get his senior portraits captured. But we did it and they now have them FOREVER!

    His Mom is so funny! Each time we had to reschedule she kept saying the words from Florida Georgia Line, “Meant to be” :0 And, it was MEANT TO BE! Brett’s grown into one respectful, tall, cool guy, and I’m grateful Mom asked me to be a small part of their senior year moment!

    “If it’s meant to be, to be, then baby it’s meant to be!”

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      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 2018 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 and 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 is 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. I know, shameless plug, right?

      …But even if I’m not your senior photographer {I know, crazy talk}, GET SENIOR PORTRAITS! Seriously! It may be the last formal portraits you have taken until your WEDDING DAY

      And for the guys, I know it may seem 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, facebook, twitter and the next big social app – it becomes PUBLIC for anyone…including a future boss and college admissions boards. Keep things clean peeps.

      6. Be real!

      I am 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 many 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 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

      It might seem like you just want to leave and move on to college, but don’t forget to love and appreciate the people who helped you on your life journey so far! Make time to take your siblings to ice cream, or to write your parents a note. It’s a great skill to learn to appreciate people who have been there for you.

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      You have Some Senior Sparkle – Shine On & Shine Bright

      Shining Moments Photography | Your Senior Photographer

       

       

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        Nailed it! | All in the Details | St Charles Senior Photographers

        School’s started and Fall Senior Portraits are underway!

        We don’t have much time, so let’s get down to the details!

        NAILS!

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        Our nails are often forgotten in the string of important details. But these little babies can make a powerful impact in your senior pictures, both POSITIVE and NEGATIVE! I get it, you don’t have time to go get your nails done or paint yourself and sit around and, “watch the paint dry.”

        Ask yourself this,

        How often will you have your high school senior portraits taken?

        A. Every year of high school

        B. ONCE IN A LIFETIME

        You chose ‘B’ right?  I hope you chose ‘B’ 😉

        When we talk at your senior consultation I give a checklist {yep, guys have one too ;)} to each senior, or Mom. It gives you the exact timeline for what + when to get things done. I do all the hard, boring stuff for you so you get to have fun and

        ✔︎ Check

        ✔︎Check

        ✔︎Check

        to be ready to show your story on session day! NAILS are on that checklist {yep, guys too}

        You see the painted finger nail images scattered in this post of all the pretty Fall colors + designs, but if color isn’t your thing,

        A SIMPLE CLEAR COAT is all you need for your portrait session.

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        Finger nail polish is like another accessory to your wardrobe, but it’s also a piece that gets overlooked a lot of times. Who will notice my fingernails in my senior pictures? Believe me! We see your nails! My senior sessions aren’t all sitting perfectly posed. We move, we may dance, we use props to tell YOUR STORY, and hands get into the groove too. Now my sport-teens may be thinking the last thing they want to make time for is painting nails, and that’s fine. As long as they are fresh + clean you’re good to go.

        However, I love sports of every kind, played-um, coached-um, + watch-um, but I also like a little glam too 😉 It’s not an all-or-nothing deal here. Be you – Do you!

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        Plain or colorful is all up to you. You can get a lot of great ideas on Pinterest for your nails, hair, makeup, + wardrobe. I have boards ready and waiting to help you. We also go talk + plan once you reserve your senior session experience at Shining Moments Photography. I’m here to capture the FUN of being young and tell your story through portraits.


        Other SMP Blog Posts To Help You::

        4 Hacks to Help Your High School Success 

        4 Tips to Tell You When To Schedule Your Senior Portraits

        HELP! Graduation Party Planner to the Rescue


        Shining Moments Photography | Showing the World Your Kind of Beautiful 

        #LIVELAUGHSHINE

         

         

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          Hey Juniors! I’ve got your checklist for school | Senior Photographer | Sycamore IL

          Hey Juniors! This One’s For You!

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          I’ve been helping my 2018 Seniors prep for their college days coming up, and giving tips to Senior Mamas, but today I’m here to help out the class of 2020.

          Are you ready for your checklist of goods?

          Junior year, you become an “upperclassman” and things really get rolling. You need to keep track + keep up.

          I’ve got 10 TIPS to keep you on track + relaxed as you start your junior year.

          JUNIOR YEAR CHECKLIST

          1/ Check on your high school course plan : Make sure you’re on track for graduation

          *Required credits differ between colleges, trade schools, and universities

          2/ Take AP, IB, and concurrent enrollment classes to prepare for college + gain college hours

          3/ Research colleges : Make your top 10 list of colleges that interest you

          *”Schools I’m Thinking About” list

          4/ Attend college fairs and sign up for college visits to your nearby schools on your school holidays

          *Be sure to sign-up/register in advance with the college

          5/ If you’re not already, get active in clubs + extracurricular activities {take on some leadership roles}

          6/ If your schedule allows, think about a part-time job or pursue an entrepreneurial idea

          7/ Update your résumé worksheet so you have everything together so far.

          *If your high school offers a Naviance account this is an excellent way to add as you go

          8/ Prep for and take the SAT/ACT {Fall registration is open now}

          *On average you can raise your score 2-4 points each time you take the ACT {I know, not fun to take more than once, but it can be worth it}

          * And don’t bail out on the extra writing portion. Not all colleges require it, but it would be a royal bummer to go through the test again, just to add the writing portion

          9/ Make your list of teachers, coaches, club sponsors + others to write your letters of recommendation

          10/ Do meaningful community service

          *Log hours on your “volunteer page”, Naviance, or college folder


          This is the BEST TIME to start a college notebook or folder so that you add to it all in one place. Organization is the key to your sanity 😉


          Your life is full of activity! I’m not just here to capture your BIG MOMENTS, I’m here to help you with the BIG PICTURE too {no pun intended…okay, maybe a little}. Don’t miss more of the good stuff to help make high school smoother, preparing for college less stressful, and yes, hopefully seeing if we can capture your senior portraits together. I do like to show a few images now and then 😉

          JOIN SPARKLE NOTES with one of these FREEBIES and get more great tips::

          25 Tips for Shining Portraits 

          or my

          FREE Camera-Ready Makeup Guide

          Cheers & Sparkles to your week!

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            Shining Moments Photography | Sycamore, IL | 815.751.2247