Word of mouth is a powerful force, and that’s why I always want to make sure every senior I work with, walks away excited to share their experience with their friends. In fact, that’s how I have become a full-time senior photographer: by giving seniors such a great experience and such a fun time, that they can’t help but encourage their friends to join in. I never take it for granted that I get to be a part of their lives in this way. Taylor heard about my photography from her friend Halle, and then checked out my images on social media. She says, “I chose PBG because I fell in love with the pictures you took, and the way you connect with your clients!” Taylor attends Richland High School, where she is active on the yearbook team, and adds, “It is my favorite class in school, because we are all one big happy family!”

She’s a very energetic and loving person, and enjoys being with her family and her friends. Once she leaves for college, she knows those times will be less frequent, so she is trying to savor them during the rest of her high school years. “In twenty years, I hope my classmates remember me as someone who created a positive environment and kept everyone laughing”, she explains, “I wish I had known when I started high school that it would go by so fast. I love school, and I learned to by myself and not worry about what other people think. I think that’s why I am passionate about the yearbook, because we are in charge of how people look back during their high school years. They don’t want to look back and think wow, our school was lame and never did anything! When in reality there were a lot of great memories involved!” She is involved in planning team bonding, activities, and events for the yearbook class, and views it as an opportunity to be a role model. When she graduates, she shared that she wants to attend the University of Washington or Gonzaga. Thanks for taking the plunge with me as your senior photographer, Taylor, I hope that you loved our time together, and treasure these images!

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Finding out who you are is such a huge part of high school. In fact, it might just be the biggest part of those formative four years, and Megan is well on her way to becoming an incredible adult. She’s a senior at Southridge High School, and she was looking forward to joining several clubs this year. In previous years, she was part of swimming, and she’s also involved with Young Life outside of the school. Some of her favorite classes include child psychology, english, and she adds, “free writing is my favorite thing to do in class”. I think it’s awesome when my seniors are readers and find books that expand their minds. One that Megan has found recently is “Perks of Being a Wallflower”, and she says, “The book and the movie really helped shape me as a person. I think it holds a lesson that’s important about friendship and how to handle yourself when things seem impossible. Everyone should watch the movie or read the book at some point. For me, I had to really work hard to maintain good grades and attendance in high school, and I made my faith a priority. I was able to take a big step back, and begin living my life just a few minutes at a time.”

Megan hopes that her high school classmates will remember her as someone who is comforting, caring, and who made people feel welcome. Her kind spirit will certainly work well in the future, when she wants to obtain a career in family medicine and work in the medical field. This busy girl doesn’t have much free time, but she enjoys being with her friends and exploring the great outdoors when she can. Her personal style is something she describes as “casual”, but I loved the dressy look of her rose-adorned romper! “My favorite piece of clothing is probably a sweatshirt”, she added, “I even wear a sweatshirt when it’s warm out. I love being cozy, and often, a sweatshirt is the easiest outfit to put together. I have a pretty basic personal style, but I love it because it is so comfy!”

Beautiful Megan, you are the perfect energetic spirit to kick off the blog for 2018!

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When Alyssia showed me her wardrobe, I knew I had to find just the right locations. I knew that she was seriously bringing the fire with tons of retro looks, and I couldn’t wait to make them look amazing with backdrops and inspiration to match. It can be really hard to make a retro outfit look authentic and bring a theme together, so I wanted to share a few tips about it on the blog today!

-Remember you are not trying to make your photos look dated. You want a retro look, but also a current one. To do so, keep your light natural and breezy, and keep skin tones looking clear and simple.

-Eliminate things that are too “new” in your backgrounds: Keep things like cars and large electronics out of the backgrounds. Obviously some things like street lights, coffeeshops, or other people cannot always be kept out of your portraits, but they can be jarring when you want a retro inspired look!

-Have your subject “do” something in the images: Having this gorgeous girl shop for records and walk around downtown was the perfect way to make her images full of movement and fun. It keeps things youthful without being too posed or stuffy. 

I loved this shoot with Alyssia, and hope you love the retro feel of her images!

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There’s something special in the eyes of the seniors I shoot. It’s a mixture of hope, adventure, and excitement, and it brings me right back to my own senior year. I always say, “this season is irreplaceable in your life”, and it’s because I’ve lived through it. As an adult, you look back on those times, and usually wish you’d done things differently in one way or another. But what I want most of all for my seniors, is that their senior photos are the one thing they NEVER regret! Marisa was amazing when we met up for her senior shoot, and we had a ton of fun. She’s graduating from Southridge High School, where she is focusing on her academic pursuits. When she’s not in school, she enjoys being with her friends, and loves the creativity of art (especially drawing and painting).

“When I started high school, I wish I had known to appreciate the little moments. If I could go back, I think I’d have appreciated more”, says Marisa, “I read a really inspiring book by Shay and Gavin Butler that talked about self-love and acceptance, and I took that to heart. We can all overcome anything, and happiness is a choice…in twenty years, I hope that people remember me as someone who was really nice, and was someone they could go to when they were in a rough patch.” She shared with me that she wanted to capture her fun personality and look classy in her shoot, and we managed to do both. I loved adding in her cheer uniform as well. In her future, she envisions finishing up at CBC, and continuing on to a four year university to major in Marine Biology. She is very passionate about animals of all kinds, and hopes to work with them in her career.

Marisa, I know your kind heart will take you everywhere you dream! Thanks for letting me be your senior photographer!

 

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Each year, during this time of year, I love to think about thankfulness. Sure, it’s part of it being thanksgiving (duh), but I think the holidays cause me to stop and pause a bit. The world we are living in moves fast and furiously, and the digital age doesn’t help. We are bombarded all day long with texts, phone calls, requests, appointments, and emails. I am an extrovert, so it’s hard for me to unplug, and to slow down, because I love my job and I love people! But around the holiday times, I find it a little easier to stop and savor my life. Here are just a few things I’m super grateful for:

Image: Chicago Now

-My family: If you know me, you know being a wife and mother is one of my greatest joys. I am so proud of all my children, and so grateful for them.

-My faith: I hold my faith and values very dear, and they bring me a lot of comfort and meaning during this time of year. I also put a high value on giving to others less fortunate than myself, and teaching my kids those values, as well. 

-My job: This one is a no-brainer, but I am so grateful for my work. Getting to work with amazing young people, as well as mentor and train other photographers, is my dream come true, and I am grateful every day.

-My health and home: I am so aware that there are other struggling this season, with health concerns like cancer and disease, as well as financial and poverty struggles. I feel very blessed, and think it’s so important that we remember others in our giving and prayers.

I hope you all have a safe and beautiful thanksgiving, and remember to make a list of the things you are grateful for. If you are looking for somewhere to make a lasting difference this season, please be sure to check out our local Tri-Cities food bank.

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