fortuna union high school

Jaeden's Benbow Inn Senior Session

It might be winter in California now, but I am reminiscing about Jaeden’s fall senior session. I have been so excited to share her beautiful senior pictures on the blog. Jaeden is one of my amazing senior reps from Fortuna High School. . She traveled down to the Benbow Inn for her senior session, which is one of my favorite locations to shoot at. There are no words for how much I adore my clients, they seriously blow my mind at how amazing they are! Working with teen girls is something that I am so passionate about. I believe that a senior portrait session should be more than just taking pictures. It should be an unforgettable experience where they not only look beautiful- they genuinely feel beautiful, too. Their senior portrait session should be an experience that lives in them for a lifetime. These girls are just incredible and I am grateful beyond words to have the opportunity to get to know and work with them.

Jaeden, you are absolutely amazing! I loved working with you so much! Adventuring around the Benbow Inn with you was so much fun! Your beauty and light shines from the inside-out. I cannot begin to thank you enough for choosing me to be your senior photographer- I hope you loved the experience as much as I did! You are a dream client and I mean that!

How to be a Successful Student Athlete

High school is almost like a full time job really.  You arrive by 8 am Monday – Friday and spend your day learning and discussing details on new topics and discovering solutions to problems you may or may not have known existed.  The demands of the classroom can be overwhelming at times with daily in class work to complete, the never ending homework load, project deadlines and of course, studying for multiple finals that are right around the corner.  In a way, it feels like a juggling act.

On top of your busy daily routine you are also an active athlete, the kind that puts in 2 hours of practice each day, stays an extra half hour or so after practice, working on skill development and improving your game.  You are defined as a disciplined, hard working athlete.

After your first few years of high school experiencing that “full time job feeling”, and battling to put the time and work into being an asset to your sports team, it isn’t uncommon to experience a bit of senioritis when you hit your senior year.  With the pressure of juggling pretty much “two full-time jobs” it can start to weigh on you, leaving you feeling frustrated.  For some, the frustration they feel leads to a decline in motivation and performance.

So…How does one learn to become a successful student athlete?  Here a few tips on how you can work through these tough times when the going gets tough!

Work on time management.  Treat your life as a full time job, make sure you honor each commitment.  While you may enjoy athletic life more, putting the time in and respecting your classes is just as important.

Communication is key.  Keep lines of communication open between your coaches, teammates, instructors and fellow students.  If you have to miss a class or a practice, notify the right people and let them know your plan for making it up to them.  People really appreciate this, it shows respect for their time and shows you care.

Challenge yourself.  You might be well known as a talented athlete, but it doesn’t mean you have to put yourself in that box and stay there.  Be open, engage with different groups of people outside of our circle of teammates. Venture out and try an activity or two that’s out of your comfort zone.

Stay true to yourself.  Be sure to own who you are and keep the “brand” of you.  To know who you are and staying true to that, says a lot about your character.

Learn from your failures.  Whether it’s a loss on the court or a poor grade in the classroom, don’t let failures affect your goals and winning spirit.  Failures and mistakes are an opportunity to learn and grow. Embrace them.

Don’t ever stop learning.  Be an active reader.  Learn all that you can, whether it’s within your sport or in your classwork.  One of the best ways to keep growing, is to remain open to new knowledge and insights.  Trust me, this habit will serve you well for the rest of your life.

Keep the big picture in mind.  Your day-to-day life may be hectic, but really try to plan down the road as well.  Keep communication open with the key people in your life and never burn your bridges.  Continue to network, communicate and stay connected with people around you. These skills will help you in all areas of your life.

Good questions are important at student-athlete recruit meetings.  Once you’ve determined what you’re looking for in a school, ask relevant questions.  Some examples are: What is the retention rate of the school? What are some common majors among the current team members?  What is the team’s overall grade point average? Really determine what is important to you, and leave each campus with answers.

Plan A and a plan B.  You should always shoot for the stars and go after your dreams.  In some cases though, life takes us on a different journey or you might experience a few setbacks and bumps in the road.   It’s a great idea to have a well thought out plan and also good to have a backup plan if your first one doesn’t work. You just never know what life has in store.  So keep an open mind!


Being a successful student athlete isn’t easy.  It requires effort, hard work and commitment, demands dedication, discipline and desire.  But.. If you want it bad enough, you can have it! Get your game face on, put in the work and go out an earn it!  


So… How bad do you want it?!


Senior Sister Golden Light Session

I shot Becca’s senior photos a couple of years ago, so I was super stoked when Ginger asked me to shoot Baileys senior photos. Becca was getting ready to fly the nest and move to Texas so Mama wanted some photos with just the two sisters. They traveled down to Southern Humboldt to one of my favorite places to shoot which has the amazing combinatio of gorgeous golden light and an amazing view. The night didn’t dissapoint and we got some beautiful images. 

When should you book your senior portraits?

One of the most asked questions from high school students I get is when should I book my senior portraits?

Well the easy answer to this would be during your senior year of course but it is a little more complicated than that.

Here are the 4 things you should consider when thinking about when to book your senior portraits.

  1. What does your schedule look like? Is there a certain time of year that would be too busy to fit in your senior photos? Also do you need these photos for graduation invitation or for the yearbook and what is the deadline to have those photos in by. Taking into account your schedule and deadlines should be the very first question you ask yourself when thinking about booking your senior photos.

    2. What is your favorite season and is that important to you? Do you want the fall leaves or blossoming flowers in your photos? If a certain season is important to you make sure to take that into account. Also think about what you want to wear and how the seasons will affect that. If you are in love with the thought of wearing neon pink then a fall photo session may not be the right season for you.

3. Do you have a uniform you want to wear? Do you play football, lacrosse, softball or volleyball? If you want to make sure that your uniform is part of your senior portraits make sure to schedule your portraits during that time of year so you will have access to your uniform. Parky’s Pics does offer an update session at a later date that is shorter and a great price if you are wanting your full session a different time of year than your season of sport.

4. When is your photographer busy and available? You should always book your senior portraits at least 2 months ahead of time. Talking with your photographer ahead of time about their availability is always smart. It would be horrible to wait until last minute and decide you want your portraits done on a weekend right in the middle of wedding season.

These are my four tips on what to consider when booking your senior portraits. Do you have any questions for me about senior portraits? Drop them in the comments below,

You may also be interested in this post on what to wear for your senior portraits in the fall https://www.parkyspics.com/blog/whattowearforyourhumboldtcountyfallseniorsession