8 Myths About Senior Photos: Part I

#1: I have to go to the school yearbook photographer
Yes, but guess what, you only need to have a photo taken for the yearbook! You DO have a choice and you are NOT required to purchase those images. Get your mugshot done so you can be included in the yearbook then make an investment in your senior portraits from a photographer that will capture who you really are as a person based on the quality, options and style that suit you best.

#2: The school pic is good enough
Oh honey, no ... I personally believe you deserve so much more. You’ve worked hard for 12 years to get to this point and it should be celebrated! This is 100% about YOU. You deserve a memorable experience that results in stunning images and tangible keepsakes that will become heirlooms.

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#3: We just need a few good pics on a disk
I going to be honest with you here. There’s two problems with getting files on a disk. One: they stay on the disk and are never printed. Which means the only place these photos live are on that disk, lost somewhere in a file cabinet and maybe posted on your social media. That’s pretty risky; technology changes fast, (ask AOL Messenger or MySpace).
Two: If they are printed, it’s at a retail store. All prints are not created equal. A print from a retail store is literally ink printed onto shiny paper. A photograph from a professional lab is an actual emulsion on light sensitive paper. It won’t fade, crumble, stick to the glass or get wonky like a retail print will. Retail prints are for snapshots. Portraits belong on photographs.  

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#4:This is all overwhelming
I totally feel you on that one. It can be overwhelming if you don’t have the right tools to help you. Just take the time to research your options and choose a photographer who will hold your hand through the whole process. 
I prepare my seniors every step of the way: before the photo shoot, I give each of my clients a survey to help them choose the locations, and style guide with everything they need to know about what to wear including a checklist to prep. During the shoot I let them bring unlimited options and help style their looks based on the locations they like best then coach them through being in front of the camera naturally. I send them home with hugs and homework to help them prep for the reveal which I help them through too. The best thing you can do is ask the prospective photographer how they will help you through the process. 

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8 Myths About Senior Photos: Part II

#5: People will think I want to copy my friend’s look
If you’re nervous about looking like you “copied” someone else’s look, don’t worry one bit - that is totally avoidable. Personally, I focus on senior portraits exclusively so that I can make each shoot unique to every one of my seniors by taking the time to get to know who they are. Even if we shoot at the same locations at the same time of day, I have the ability to create a limitless variety of looks. It’s my personal goal to infuse their images with their own style and personality. Make sure you choose a photographer that does more than just the basics to get by.  

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#6: I won't look good, I'm awkward
Like, you don’t even know what to do with your hands? That’s totally ok. If you choose a custom photographer that takes the time to notice your little quirks and help make you feel comfortable in front of the camera, you’ll totally forget you even have hands. For me, I’ve studied how to pose different body types in the most flattering ways. Ask your photographer if retouching your blemishes and flyaway hairs is included because I GOT YOU and they should too (but not too much retouching, you still want to look like yourself, not a Barbie doll).

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#7: My friend with a nice camera can just do it
A nice camera does not equal a good portrait. And you don’t deserve just a nice camera, you deserve an experience.  An experienced professional not only has a nice camera but has also studied lighting, posing, styling, retouching as well as translating personality to an image. Anyone can click a button, but a portrait is designed. Please don’t trust something as important as this to an amateur.

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#8: It's expensive
If you choose a photographer who offers quality products, your investment will literally last a lifetime. This experience is to celebrate this amazing accomplishment in your life, these images and keepsakes are for future you to reminisce. Imagine being eighty years old and looking through your senior year album with your grandchildren reliving the memories of a time when CDs still existed and cars couldn’t drive themselves. 

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What She Wore: Caleigh

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Tell us about each piece of your outfit, and where ya got it!

Flower Printed Dress: Dry Goods
Heels: Charlotte Russe

What helped you in selecting this outfit?
I really loved the simplicity of the dress and the colors of the flowers. It was simple but effective. The heels added an extra touch to it, making the look more complete.

What do you love about this outfit?
I love wearing this outfit because it makes me feel confident and beautiful. It's something I would wear on a regular basic so I felt very comfortable in it.

What tips or advice would you share for shopping/preparing for a senior shoot: 
Pick outfits that represent you and will reflect your personality. You don't have to spend a ton of money either, work with what you have! Just be you.

Seven Days of Self Care!

Let's be honest, we are all pretty much stressed all the time amirite? Your schedule is packed, your classes are freakin hard, everyone is already talking about college applications, and honestly you just need to catch your breath... these self care tips won't change your life, but they will make it a little easier. Try them all as a challenge or pick a few favorites. Whatever you do, take care of yourself first girl.

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1. Make an uplifting playlist:
It can be a “get hyped up” playlist or a “calm/chill” playlist. Get on Spotify and add all the uplifting, happy songs you can think of to listen to when you need a mood boost.

2. Pamper yourself:
Run a hot bath with your favorite bubbles or bath bomb, put on a face mask, light some scented candles, put your phone on airplane mode and play that positive vibes playlist we made, and soak. Exfoliate, moisturize, and put on your coziest pjs. 
 
3. Start A Gratitude journal:
Studies show that focusing on positive experiences boost both mental and even physical health! Grab a cute notebook and your favorite pen and get writing! Think about three things today that you are thankful for. It can be fun experiences, people who care about you, or something small like a good lunch day at school.

4. Positive Reflections:
Stand in front of a mirror and think of three things that you love about your body. Don't allow any negative thoughts. If you think "ugh my legs are so big" - refocus that to "my legs are strong and take me to amazing places".

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5. Treat yo self:
Indulge and buy yourself a little something. It could be a new book, a bouquet of beautiful flowers, a luxe chocolate bar, those shoes you can't stop thinking about ... a gift to you from you. You deserve it!

6. Cut yourself some slack:
Sleep in or take a nap and don’t feel guilty about it! That fuzzy blanket is calling your name. We all need time to recharge, you don’t have to be productive 24/7. Catching up on some sleep will boost your energy levels and you immune system, and honestly what’s better than a Sunday afternoon nap?

7. Spread kindness:
 Grab your friends go on a bestie date. Take them out to coffee or go see a fun movie together. Even better plan an old school slumber party. Spending time with 'your' people is a mood boost for everyone, we all need a solid support group.

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Bonus: If you don't have time for more intense self-care, set a timer for 10 minutes and put your phone on airplane mode. Go somewhere quiet or sit in your car somewhere pretty and meditate, pray, or visualize your goals. The key is to be fully present in this time to 'reset'. After, you'll feel less stressed and more focused. 

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