Bright and bold. That’s what came to mind when I met this gorgeous and smart senior…I was so glad she applied to my Street Team as part of the Class of 2018. Clarissa attends Chiawana High School and is absolutely crushin’ it with a 3.55 G.P.A. She says that she can come across as fairly shy when you first meet her, but is “open, honest and friendly” when she is able to get to know someone. I knew there was a bold and fierce spirit in there, and I loved bringing it out in her images! At CHS, she participates in cheerleading and is active in Young Life, which is a club that celebrates faith through leadership, service, and bible study.

“Galicia is the sweetest, most kind-hearted lady, and who better to take my senior photos?”, she explains, “I love to be around people that make others feel good about themselves.” Her cousin was part of my 2016 street team and had a great experience, and referred Clarissa. I love my street team for many, many reasons, but mostly because of what it exemplifies: strength in numbers (when we join together, we can do great things!), and the ability for young women to truly rally together and ENCOURAGE one another, rather than bullying or criticism. I’m so proud of each and every one of these young people!

Want more information on a senior shoot? I have posted my F.A.Q’s right HERE!

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I heard someone say the other day, “I’m an extroverted extrovert!” I laughed so hard, and immediately thought of this stunning, funny young lady! She is so outgoing, has the best personality, and is an incredible athlete, as well. When I saw her application come through for my Class of 2018 Street Team, I was so excited to work with her…just look at her bold brows and sweet smile! I promise she is wonderful on the inside as she is beautiful on the outside as well.

She is representing PBG at Kennewick High School, and says, “Ever since I saw a few of my friend’s pictures, I had an interest in the street team, and couldn’t wait to have someone great capture my true self in my pictures”. Ryen says her ‘theme song’ would be “Who Run the World” by Queen Bey, of course, and I have no doubt she’s the sort of girl Beyonce was referring to! She is involved in leadership at her high school, and plays both competitive and school softball. “I am someone who pretty much goes with the flow”, she explains, “I love being with my mom, and would actually choose her as my road trip buddy…we are very similar people!” We had such a great time at her outdoor, on-location session, and I am looking forward to working more with this amazing young lady as the year progresses!

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MUA:: Amy Rene Make Up Artistry

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Give me all the boho braids and lace! Sorry, I get a little carried away when a senior looks this amazing, and is sweet as can be, too! Meet Evelyn, one of my Class of 2018 Street Team girls…she’s just a doll. She will graduate from Chiawana High School, and she says, “I wanted to represent you because I saw how you work with your seniors during a shoot. You make it a really fun experience, and it makes me feel excited for my senior year!” Evelyn is part of the chamber choir, and dance team, and says her friends would say she is “sassy and sweet”!

I don’t know if people really use the word ‘frolic’ anymore, but that’s pretty much what we did during her session! We shared so many laughs, and I loved getting to know her more closely. She had the best little white dress that looked so beautiful against the bright and crisp green field, and you can find a similar one HERE.  White can be tricky for a senior shoot, depending on your skin tone and the location, so don’t be afraid to try lots of different shades like ecru, eggshell, cream, and taupe to find a flattering one!

MUA:: Connie Delamora, Studio One

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PhotographybyGalicia124It’s the perfect time to celebrate Cinco De Mayo! With the styling of a photoshoot by two of the amazing make-up artists I work with, I got to thinking about my heritage. One thing is for sure: I am so proud to be Mexican. That always hasn’t been the case. Growing up was not easy. My mom was a single parent and had to work three jobs to provide a roof over our head, put food on the table, and clothe myself, and my brother and sister. I was the oldest, so I had to take care of my siblings all the time. If they got in trouble, I was in trouble. If they didn’t eat, I was in trouble. I was my mama’s right hand. As you can imagine, I resented the role for quite a long time.

We grew up in the housing projects for low-income families, and I walked to school which was near by. I know my mom did the best she could to provide us with extra curricular activities. I still got to go to dance school, and played the occasional sport here and there, and the one thing she instilled in me most was the value of education. She would always ask me if I wanted to work in the fields like she did; And I would say “heck, no!”. She would go on to tell me to study and get good grades. Because of this, she thought going to the high school across town, the other side of the tracks if you will, would be a better option for me and my siblings. She was able to obtain an address in that district and just like that we went to Kamiakin High School.

Kamiakin High School was predominately all Caucasian with just a few minority students. Most of the students there came from a household of two parents and the means to live an upper to middle class lifestyle, which in my eyes, meant that they were “rich”. I remember not feeling like I fit in because of the color of my skin, my social status and not having any money. I never once was bullied or called any names because I did a really good job to “blend” in. All through high school, I wanted desperately to fit in. I became embarrassed of my mom because she didn’t speak proper English, and had these traditions that weren’t “American”. I even changed the pronunciation of my name to sound like Alesha but with a G in the front is what I would tell people. I was so busy trying to feel accepted that I threw my beautiful and rich heritage to the wayside.

I wish at the time, that I would have embraced my heritage like I do today. It is because of my heritage and the values that my mom instilled in me, that I am the person I am today. She taught me to work for what I want, to get an education and to value my family. She taught me to celebrate where our ancestors came from and to be proud to be Mexican. As for my name, one day she told me that she didn’t name me “Galesha”! She named me Galicia (pronounced Ga-lee-see-a). Which, I may add, sounds way prettier. So now if said incorrectly, I tell them.

So this Cinco de Mayo, embrace where your ancestors came from (even if it wasn’t from Mexico). Celebrate who you are because everyone else is taken. Don’t waste your time trying to be someone you’re not.

I’m honored that I got to be part of this photo shoot. In so many ways, I wanted to capture the essence of being a strong Mexican, beautiful woman. I think it totally worked!

A huge thank you to Connie Delamora & Anais Valdez. They are the amazingly talented Make-up artists who stylized this “Cinco De Mayo” shoot.

Contributors::

Styled By:: Connie Delamora & Anais Valdez
Make Up Artists:: Connie Delamora & Anais Valdez
Hair:: Jessica Valdez
On Set Design “Picnic”:: Imagine Design Create Inspire

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Spring days are finally here, and I couldn’t be happier to get some rays and have the perfect light for my girls! We are continuing to introduce my newest Street Team, which includes beauties like Megan from Southridge High School. “Aside from the beautifully done pictures, I have heard so many positive responses about not only your work, but working with you and getting to know you as a role model”, explains Megan, “You choose such a diverse, dynamic group of girls from different schools that I’d otherwise never get to meet. This is a great opportunity to make some friendships and get some amazing pictures. I see joining the street team as a way to partake in something great. I would love to have this opportunity!”

Megan says her friends would describe her as loving and giving, and she adds, “I love making people laugh and feel included and wanted.” She is a very active member of the swim team at Southridge, and she also plays softball. She was part of student leadership during her freshman and sophomore year, and she helps set up school dances. In addition, she love being part of her Young Life program. She has gorgeous blue eyes and I cannot wait to keep photographing them this year! Thanks, Megan, for joining forces with me!

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MUA:: Anais Valdez Make Up

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