I always ask my seniors to share something they wish they’d have known as a freshman. I think it’s always important to practice self-awareness, and focus on how far you’ve come. I love hearing the things that they have learned, and if I have the privilege of knowing them before their junior year, I get to witness the growth, too! Dana is graduating from Columbia Burbank High School, and has an amazing 3.5 G.P.A. This spunky gal adds that she missed quite a bit of school, and worked hard to catch back up, and urges freshman to get into a good rhythm of homework. Although she’s not part of any clubs at her school, she says she loves being part of student life, and showing her support at sporting events. In addition, she loves being part of the mechanics class, and adds, “I learned so much in that class in just a year. I was so glad to be part of the class, and I can now weld and use a bunch of machinery I didn’t know how to use before.”

“I would say my best personality trait is being compassionate”, explains Dana, “I’m a pretty passionate person. I want people to remember that I always had a smile on my face and was a genuinely good person in high school. I also really look up to my big sister, who is such a hard worker.” High school wasn’t always easy for Dana, but she prevailed through the drama and stress to finish strong. For her senior shoot, she wanted to look grown up and beautiful, and we definitely made it happen for her. I loved working with her, and I also loved the mix of urban and outdoor locations that we utilized. After graduation, she plans to attend Columbia Basin College to begin earning her Associate’s degree.

Congratulations, Dana, on the start to your beautiful, incredible future!

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“From the moment I found Galicia’s Instagram account, I knew I wanted her to be my senior photographer”, explained Gina, “Photography is a hobby of my own, and I just loved her work!” Gina knew she wanted me to be her senior photographer, and from the moment I met her, I knew I wanted her on my street team! She joined forces with me as part of my Class of 2018 team, and attends Southridge High School. Gina is working hard to maintain her 3.5 G.P.A., and has such a spunky, beautiful personality. “I would say my personality is someone that is always ready for an adventure”, she shared, “I love meeting new people, and I really just want to enjoy life.” She is part of the cheer squad at Southridge, is in the fashion club, and is part of DECA. Gina also loves the music of the Arctic Monkeys, and says she can listen to their music anytime! “If I had a theme song when I entered a room, it would be 505 by the Arctic Monkeys, because it’s my favorite song, and I was actually born at 5:05”, she adds.

For her senior shoot, Gina wore bright red heels and lipstick, which totally fit her personality! I loved the vibrant and stylish feel it had, and it even had a bit of retro flair. We did her shoot downtown in an urban area, where she got to show off her sassy side. I have no doubt that she is going to do some amazing things in her future! Thank you Gina, for being part of my team!

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When times are hard, and my heart is heavy (at the time when this blog is published, we are reeling here on the West Coast about the tragedy in Las Vegas), I get to remind myself that the inspiring, beautiful young people I am lucky enough to photograph, they are the future. And they are filled with so much love and kindness and hope, it makes it easy for me to hope, too. Dana is a beautiful senior, part of my VIP Class of 2018 street team, and an attendee of Columbia Burbank High School. She was referred by another street team member (Monica), and she was excited to jump on board. “I actually followed your Twitter account after I saw a picture of Monica over the summer and I loved the look of the photos and the style”, she explained, “I like to look for opportunities to embrace my interest in modeling. I was so overjoyed when Monica asked me if I wanted to become a part of your team, because I’ve admired your work. I believe if I’m selected, I will brighten up people’s mood and I will bring my best smile to every shoot and meeting. I wanted to represent Photography by Galicia, because of my passion for modeling”.

“I can come across as shy, but am working on not being as shy”, she says, “I try hard to be kindhearted person, and I really just want everyone to feel important. I try to include everyone, and hope they feel needed. I am a sensitive person, and my friends would probably say I am nice, funny, sarcastic, and smart”. Dana is not currently part of any clubs or sports, but is focused on work and her academics. “I also love music, especially Rihanna! She is such a confident human being. All I have to do when I feel down is listen to a few songs and I feel empowered”, she adds, “If I could take a road trip with anyone, it would be Steve Irwin. I’m so into exact places, and I would have loved to have him take me around and experience what he did for a living”.

In light of recent events, I think the world needs more people like Dana…people who want to include and not exclude. People who hope and laugh and brighten other’s moods. I’m proud of you, Dana, and wish you all the best!

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Have you ever put on a dress, and instantly felt your confidence lift? I think we all have “that dress” hanging in our closets, the one that makes us feel like a real star; the dress that makes you feel like a million bucks! I’m pretty sure that Laryssa has found that dress, too, and it was the one she wore to her senior shoot recently. She’s a graduate from Kennewick, and she’s also part of my street team this year. She’s very sweet and kind, and I loved working with her. “I’d probably describe myself as a pretty respectful teen, who likes to keep to herself”, she says, “I have always been a little shy, but when I feel comfortable, I start opening up and everyone gets to see a little more of my crazy side!” At her school, she is part of the GEAR-UP program, and is an ambassador. GEAR-UP helps high school students prepare for their next step with college preparation, tutoring, and mentoring.

She shared, “I wanted to represent Photography by Galicia because I want to look back on my senior photos when I’m older, and be able to remember the good times I had. Galicia is an amazing photographer, and I wanted photos that represented the person in them: me!” I always ask my seniors who they’d take on a road trip, and she said, “I would choose my sister, Lisandra, because she is my best friend and I can always count on sharing some memorable times. When we are together, we bring out the best in each other.” We headed downtown for her senior shoot, because we wanted a location that matched her stunning dress. The urban setting made me wanna dance down the streets, and we captured all that energy with Laryssa’s big smile!

Still searching for “that dress” for your senior shoot? Check out some of our favorites at Nordstrom HERE.

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If you’re a senior, I want to tell you something today: your personality, those parts of you that feel “too big” or “too much”…those are the things that you can mold to become your greatest assets. Perhaps you’ve been told you’re “too friendly”, or “too talkative”, or “too funny”. Maybe you’re “too tall”, or “too pretty to be smart”, or just plain “too smart for a girl”. I hope you know today that you are amazing, just the way you are. The girls that light up my street team are funny, loud, vivacious, energetic, smart, and beautiful. They are also quiet, sensitive, makeup-free, struggling in school, or trying to fit in. There is no perfect person. There are no perfect girls. We are all enough, as we are. No matter what makes you YOU, its enough. There is nothing I love more than showing every one of my seniors that truth.

Hailee is one of the bubbly, outgoing ones, who loves meeting new people and sharing her presence with them. She’s extremely social and intelligent, and I can’t wait to see how she uses those characteristics in the future. Hailee is part of my VIP street team, and she attends Southridge and CBC simultaneously right now, as part of the running start program at CBC. She loves road trips, and would love to go on one with her grandma if she could (her grandma passed away in 2008), and says, “I miss my grandma dearly, and would do just about anything to hear her laugh again!” And, she says if she could go to any concert, it would be Chris Brown, who she has loved since she was eight. “If I had a theme song, it would definitely be Side by Side by Ariana Granda and Nicki Minaj”, she explains, “because it has such a great beat and I love to dance!” After seeing some of my past senior reps and their images, this gorgeous girl decided to join my street team, and I couldn’t be happier. Can’t get enough of her retro inspired look below:

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