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senior portraits

Introducing the Class of 2018!

Time is flying by!  The end of the 2017-2018 school year is just weeks away.  Everyone is ready for summer break, but the members of the Class of 2018 are extremely ready!  One chapter is ending and another is beginning.  Many decisions must be made.  College?  Apartment?  Roommates?  Job?  Bills?  And so many more!  

Parents will be excited, yet a little sad, and at the same time so incredibly proud.  They too have many unanswered questions which revolve around those same decisions.  

Graduation day is tough for adults. They go to the ceremony as parents. They come home as contemporaries. After twenty-two years of child raising, they are unemployed.
— Erma Bombeck

To the Class of 2018, those that I had the privilege of photographing and those that I did not, I wish you the very best.  Just remember when things get tough in your adult life, what feels like the end is merely just the beginning.  

Senior year is for the tears, facing the fears, and the cheers. You find out how close you are to some and how far away you are from others. You’ll have your lasts and your firsts, then look back on it and remember it forever.
— unknown

Dear Senior, Be Photographed!

During my latest senior session I heard her tell her mother that she did not want to have senior photographs taken.  This immediately made me think about my senior year of high school and how I did not want senior photographs taken.  When I was a senior I just felt like the photographs were a waste of my time.  Just seemed pointless.  Until later in life that is!  Now I wish I had them taken!  And that is exactly what I told Becca at her session.  To those seniors that think they don't want to "waste their time" on senior photographs, I promise you...one day you'll wish you had them.  And then it's too late.

1.  Celebrate!  Your senior year is BIG!  You are leaving childhood and entering adulthood.  You have worked your entire life for this moment.  You have slowly developed into your own self...a unique and amazing individual.  Celebrate this turning point in your life by having yourself photographed.

2.  Express Yourself!  By this point in your life you've found hobbies and other areas of interest that consume a great deal of your time.  Take advantage of senior photographs to showcase these interests by bringing uniforms or props to your session...or even using a location that is special to you.  Make the session all about you!

3.  Memories!  I'm sure you've heard it time and time again, but the years really do fly by.  Right now you're a senior in high school getting ready to graduate.  But before you know it, you're 28 attending your 10 year high school reunion and all you have are the goofy yearbook photos.  Your kids will want to see you...your personality...when you were their age.  I don't see many personalities in the staged senior portraits for the yearbook.

4.  Prime Time!  Everyone looks amazing when they're 18.  So young and full of energy!  You're also more than likely (not all the time) in the best shape of your life.  Document this!  

5.  Gifts!  Use your senior photographs as gifts for friends and family.  We offer albums, books, wall art, cards,  and prints just to name a few of the items.  When my own kids graduated high school last year, we sent everyone that gave them a gift a print for them to keep as a keepsake.  It is full of meaning...and memories.

BE PHOTOGRAPHED! It's better to be photographed than wishing you'd been photographed.

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Meet Our 2018 Senior Models!

This coming Saturday is the 2018 Senior Model Day!  It was very tough to narrow the selection down to only three wonderful young adults!  I am looking forward to working with them throughout their senior year!

Without further ado, HERE are the Class of 2018 Senior Models for Smith Family Photography!

Jazzmine

Jazzmine attends Groesbeck High School and she sounds like a super fun young lady!  In her free time she enjoys taking photos, shopping, working with the youth outreach, and hanging out with her friends.  She describes herself as optimistic, fun, ambitious, genuine, helpful, stylish, unique, and most importantly a team player.  Jazzmine told me that senior photographs are important to her because she likes to capture important moments - every moment captured tells a story.  When I asked Jazzmine why she would be an awesome model her answer amazed me!  She said she loves who she is and she's not ashamed for the world to see the beauty that God created in her.  She's comfortable and confident in the skin she is in.  How amazing is that?!?

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Tyler

Tyler attends Riesel High School and is an awesome young man!  I know who he is, but I don't know him yet.  I know his mother and so I see him through Facebook :)  He loves to fish, run, play the alto saxophone and bond with others.  Tyler describes his personality as intelligent, understanding and laid-back.  From what I've seen, I definitely agree!  Tyler told me that senior photographs are important to him because his family didn't do a great job of preserving memories, specifically in the form of photography, when he was younger.  His family wants to change that for Tyler's senior year.  I think that's awesome!  Tyler will be a great senior model because he is very flexible, open, and has a good understanding of how to dress...and he's comfortable in front of the camera.  

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Lexi

Lexi also attends Riesel High School and has such a fun personality!  Lexi likes to hang out with her friends in her free time.  She describes her personality as crazy, but fun...all in a good way!  Lexi says that senior portraits are important to her because they will capture memories of her during her senior year.  She says she'll make an awesome senior model because she has a fun personality and isn't shy in front of the camera.

The Friendship Tree

As we grow up, we realize it is less important to have lots of friends and more important to have real ones.
— unknown

My oldest son is a senior this year and he has an awesome best friend!  They are each accepted for who they are and have no problem speaking their minds to one another.  Watching their friendship develop over the past couple of years has been a great experience.  It reminds me of my best friend growing up.  We were inseparable and yet we hardly see each other now, however when we do talk on the phone or see each other it is like we never missed a beat.  We have a gazillion things to talk and laugh about!  It's strange how we develop from an early age with a sense of we must have a LOT of friends (like that somehow defines a person socially) to a realization that there are just a few people that you can really count on and connect with - your BEST friend.

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When I take my son's senior photographs, I always invite his best friend.  It just seems strange without her there experiencing senior photographs with him.  The mood is completely different.  It's definitely much more fun and playful with both of them together, which creates amazing memories that are able to be captured on camera.  They even found a tree and designated it as their "Friendship Tree."  Her mother gave them the idea with the premise that they will come back to that true throughout their lives to remind them of their friendship.

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My best friend and I had our photographs taken together one time and neither of us know where those portraits are.  That makes me sad.  I hope that one day they will show up.  As a mother, I now realize the importance of keeping photographs so my son (and his friend) will not have missing photographs from their senior sessions.  

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I have had several clients last year that booked a senior session and then asked if they could bring their friend or boy/girlfriend.  Of course I said yes!  But it really had me feeling like I was not meeting the needs of my clients by not offering a special package for the seniors that wanted to share a session with a friend.  Over the summer I changed that and created a "Share With A Friend" Session.  Each senior is posed for individual shots, as well as posing them together.  

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If you are interested in a "Share With A Friend" Senior Session, drop us a line via message, email, or call.  

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Meet Amy: A Chloe + Isabel Merchandiser

Let me start this blog post with a personal story.  I LOVE earrings, but many earrings do not love me unfortunately.  I have super sensitive ears and within a matter of twenty minutes or so, I can already feel the itching begin.  I have to take the earrings out before I have a horrible reaction to them.  

When my friend and neighbor began her small business as a Chloe + Isabel Merchandiser, I instantly fell in love with their jewelry - especially the earrings!  She told me all about them and how they should not break my ears out because they were nickel free.  I must admit, I was a little hesitant because I have heard that before and yet my ears still broke out.  I decided to try a pair of them out and see what happened.  Twenty minutes went by and nothing.  An hour went by and nothing.  The entire day went by and NOTHING!  My ears NEVER broke out from the earrings!  I bet you can guess what I did next?  Yep!  I bough several more pairs of earrings!

Fast forward a few months and meet Amber, a senior at Mart High School.  I have known Amber for several years now and I know she's an easy going young lady and wouldn't mind wearing some of the jewelry during her session as a model.  At the beginning of the session, our lovely model advised us that she had MAJOR ear sensitivity and had to be very particular about what earrings she could wear. By the end of the session and the many exchanges we did, she had NO reactions!  Nickel Free Earrings! 

Let's let Amy take it from here and tell us a little about the various pieces that Amber wore throughout her senior session with us.

Hello!  My name is Amy Westney and I am an Independent Merchandiser for Chloe+Isabel which offers gorgeous Nickel Free & Lead Safe Jewelry with a Lifetime Replacement Guarantee! 

I recently had the pleasure of collaborating with Smith Family Photography for a Senior Portrait Session! 

Our model was stunning with her own beautiful and willing spirit!  Here I added a little jazz by way of the “Retro Glam Square Cut Crystal Bracelet”.  

Staying on top of the ever changing fashion trends my summer was filled with STUDS!  Stud Earrings that is!  :)  Talk about versatility in the earring world!  Studs are so easy to transition from a day at the office to an evening on the town just like with these gorgeous “Copacabana Studs” that our model is wearing!  

They say diamonds are a girl’s best friend but I think pearls are too!  I love the timeless essence that pearls add.  This beautiful “Pearl + Crystal Drops Long Necklace” that our model is wearing would be a lovely addition to our “Little Black Dress” (you know we all have one).  :) Pearls add simple, yet refined beauty!

I love being an accessory stylist with women!  Are you looking to revamp your jewelry box, let’s get together! 

Check out my website here: http://bit.ly/BLNBcandi

I thoroughly enjoyed Anna and our senior model.  Small businesses supporting one another in our local community!!! 

Special thanks to Amber for agreeing to model for us and let Amy accessorize her!  And a special thanks to Amy for being great at what she does - provide women with beautiful, quality, and affordable jewelry.  Oh, and we can't forget the men!  Chloe + Isabel also offers mens items as well.   

Announcing New Senior Packages!

The Class of 2016 was full of amazing young adults!  I enjoyed my time with each and every one of them and realized that I honestly love working with seniors.  I love working with them so much that I seriously booked all that I could - my entire spring break was spent photographing seniors!  It made for a lot of work on my end, but I wouldn't have had it any other way.  They are so much fun to work with!  So much excitement and no two sessions are the same - each one brings their own talents and personalities.  Needless to say, I am already looking forward to meeting the Class of 2017! 

 Class of 2016

Class of 2016

This year I am excited to announce that Smith Family Photography will be offering FOUR senior packages!  Last year we offered one senior package and I realized that I'd like to expand the options for seniors.  So without further ado, I'd like to introduce our NEW Senior Packages just in time for the Class of 2017!

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For every Senior Session that is booked and secured before August 31, 2016, they will receive a FREE gift (a $75 value)!

Mighty Mart Panthers - Times Two

The 2015-2016 school year is well underway and many seniors are now scheduling their fall senior portrait sessions.  Some seniors choose to wait until the spring season for their senior portraits.  Others prefer to have senior portraits taken year round.  This week's blog post is going to be all about two Mart seniors - Eric and Alyssa - that decided to have their senior portraits taken in the fall.

There's no buts about it...Mart is a HUGE football town!  Every Friday night during football season the town is literally dead.  Why?  Because everyone is either at the game or at home listening to the game.  Mart is serious about football.  This coming Friday is going to be especially eventful due to all the Homecoming festivities.  This Friday - Homecoming - is going to be a great day to be a Panther!

Meet Eric.  He is one of the football players that will entertain the crowd on Friday night.  He is a handsome young man with a bright future ahead of him.  He isn't quite sure where he is headed after high school just yet.  There are just so many things to consider.  After all, what's the rush?  He still has several months to narrow down his amazing plans.  One thing is for certain, he LOVES football!  He LOVES being a Panther!

 Meet Eric.

Meet Eric.

 Eric is always ready for gameday!

Eric is always ready for gameday!

Senior Portrait sessions with Smith Family Photography are fully customizable based on the specific memories that the senior would like to help capture.  For Eric, this meant the Mart Football Field.  For his mother, this meant the Mart Football Field and the grassy field behind the stadium to showcase his "country" side.  Many guys don't really care for the photographs to be taken.  They do it for their moms.  During Eric's session, he put his foot down and said he was staying on the football field - no grassy field photographs!  THAT is how much Eric loves football! 

I recently stated that I truly enjoy senior portrait sessions for several reasons, but most of all I enjoy interacting with the young adults and capturing their personality within the portraits.  As the session proceeds along, they start opening up more and more and finally they just seem to forget about the camera and just be themselves.  To me, that is when I capture the best portraits!  Things weren't any different with Eric.  At first, he was very attentive to what I was asking of him.  As the session progressed, he would wonder off to play football with his little brother, Alan.  He was relaxed and completely in his element.  He is a Mart Panther. 

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Let's take a look at another Mart senior.  Meet Alyssa.  She is one of the Mart cheerleaders that will entertain the crowd on Friday night.  She is an amazingly beautiful young woman with the whole world ahead of her!  She plans on heading off to college at either Baylor University or the University of Mary Hardin Baylor.  She plans on trying out for the cheer squad at both universities.  Alyssa LOVES cheerleading!  She LOVES being a Panther!

 Meet Alyssa

Meet Alyssa

This year's Homecoming game is especially exciting for Alyssa!  She is nominated for the Homecoming Court!  I will be at the Homecoming game this Friday night to cheer on Eric and the Mart Panthers, as well as support Alyssa...and capture a few shots of her looking dazzling in her gown!

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Young women are typically less reserved in front of the camera than young men are.  They just seem to be more comfortable with having their photograph taken.  As their session progresses, their personalities shine through just the same.  However, with girls it seems to happen much quicker.  I think we have the era of new technology to thank - cell phones with nice cameras and selfies! 

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As Alyssa's session was nearing the end, she had a few requests.  One, she loved sweaters so she wanted to wear one during some of the shots.  Two, she wanted to take some photographs on the tire swing.  And three, she had to take a special photograph for her close friend, Sadie.  I absolutely LOVE it when the clients begin to take ownership in their photographs! 

 Alyssa with her sweater.  She loves sweaters!

Alyssa with her sweater.  She loves sweaters!

 Alyssa swinging on the tire swing!

Alyssa swinging on the tire swing!

 Alyssa striking a pose for her close friend, Sadie.

Alyssa striking a pose for her close friend, Sadie.

Senior Portrait sessions are fully customizable based on the needs and wants of the senior.  After a session is officially booked, we begin collaborating on everything from locations, clothing, poses, themes, etc.  Senior sessions need to be authentic and really showcase the individual.  That is why it is so important that we work together to build a session that will let them shine and give them memories to last a lifetime.

If you are interested in booking a Senior Portrait session, you can message me or give me a call and I will give you more information.  Until next time, head over to Mart, Texas this Friday night (or any Friday night) and watch a football game!  It is an experience of a lifetime!

Sadie...the Senior Rep from Mart!

This is the first year for Smith Family Photography to have a Senior Representative Program.  Three high school seniors were chosen after careful consideration of their applications.  We chose seniors that were very involved in their school, community, and other hobbies or areas of interest.  It was difficult to choose, but in the end we could only choose three.  One of the senior reps (the only girl in the group) is Sadie from Mart, Texas. 

Each of the senior reps are rewarded for their time in assisting us with our advertising needs with cash incentives, product discounts, and freebies.  They each receive two sessions - a mini session and a full session.  The mini-sessions took place during the summer to ensure that their marketing items would be ready for the first day of their senior year.  The full session must be complete by November 1st, 2015.  This gives them plenty of time to show off their portraits.

The first senior rep to schedule the full session was Miss Sadie.  She is always a pleasure to work with!  She is truly beautiful inside and out. 

 Sadie's magazine cover

Sadie's magazine cover

Sadie sent me a Facebook message and told me that she found the perfect spot for her senior pictures.  She loved the area at the bridge on Thompson Road in Mart, Texas.  I did not know what bridge she was talking about, but I was dying to find out what made this bridge so perfect.  My husband and I drove out to the bridge and we immediately knew why she chose this particular location - it was gorgeous!  The bridge was on a nicely groomed gravel road with large trees making a tunnel over the bridge.  Absolutely stunning and so peaceful!

Sadie had plenty of ideas of her own and according to her mom, Sadie LOVES to be photographed!  I believe mom because Sadie is so natural and comfortable in front of the camera.  She is so much fun to photograph!   

 The bridge on Thompson Road in Mart, Texas is a great location for portraits!

The bridge on Thompson Road in Mart, Texas is a great location for portraits!

When I take senior portraits I prefer them to show a lot of personality.  Sometimes that involves some props if they want their session to be centered around a specific interest, such as football or softball.  Other times the session has very few props included.  It all depends on the type of portraits that the senior is wanting at that particular session.  As you can tell from the magazine article, Sadie's first session was focused on softball since she enjoys that sport.  However, this session was focused on her and her beautiful personality.  I brought two items to use as props - a suitcase and a vintage orange chair. 

 Sadie using a vintage suitcase as a seat.

Sadie using a vintage suitcase as a seat.

 Sadie using the vintage orange chair during her session

Sadie using the vintage orange chair during her session

We took several photographs on this bridge and then I suggested that we take some photographs at a nearby field that I've been longing to use for a session.  Sadie was up for taking more photographs! 

We arrived at the field just as the sun was going down and the light that was bouncing across the field was amazing!  We took several photographs in this beautiful location with gorgeous lighting and I had an idea for a pose using the vintage orange chair.  I asked my husband to get the chair out of the Suburban (aka Reliable Roger) for us and he brought us the suitcase!  I politely told him that we didn't need the suitcase, but we did need the chair.  He told us that we did not need the chair.  By the look on his face I knew that the chair was in trouble!  I asked him if my favorite chair was broken and he replied that it was in fact broken.  It was a sad moment in my life.  The photograph above is the last photograph for my favorite vintage orange chair.  So...if you have a similar chair, I am interested in purchasing it.

 The sunset casted beautiful colors across the field

The sunset casted beautiful colors across the field

 Sadie in the field with a Mart water tower in the background

Sadie in the field with a Mart water tower in the background

After we took several photographs in the field with the amazing sunset, we went back to the bridge for one last portrait.  I really wanted to get a photograph of her laying down on the bridge, but did not want her to be dirty from the gravel road for any remaining shots.  I have a feeling that we could have kept on taking photographs if the sun didn't set!

 The last photograph of Sadie's session

The last photograph of Sadie's session

If you are interested in investing in senior portraits, you can always book directly through me or you can go through Sadie and receive extra savings! 

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