Vianney and I met in Southern Humboldt for her senior session. There are a couple of different reasons that I love to shoot in the southern end of Humboldt County. 1. The weather is almost always nicer than it is northern Humboldt. 2. I know of many great locations, all within a small radius of one another, so you can get many different looks in one shoot! We spend some time shooting in both Redway and Garberville and I think we got some great shots! : )
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?!
As a professional photographer, I often get asked for advice on how to feel confident and comfortable in front of a camera. This has also been something I have struggled with in the past and has taken me awhile to feel happy with someone taking photos of me. I mean, we all agree its awkward right? You just standing there, trying to look cute and pose naturally, all the while feeling as though everyone is staring and judging you. It can be downright nerve racking to say the least! Since I have been in your shoes and have experienced this first hand, I thought it might be helpful to talk about a few tips I have learned in how to feel confident and comfortable in front of the camera!
Get to Know Your Photographer
Before your photo shoot, try to get to know you’re photographer. Take some time to check out their website and social media page. If they have a blog, take a few minutes to read what they write about and share with the world. Once you can get a feel for who your photographer truly is the far less intimidating they will be! If your photographer is going to be the one shooting your wedding, it’s a great idea to have an engagement photo shoot with them before your wedding. By doing a shoot prior to your big day, it helps make you and your partner more comfortable in front of the camera, as well as makes a great opportunity to get to know the person that will be capturing some once in a life time moments! Some photographers will offer package deals with engagement and wedding shoots, so be sure to ask for additional details!
Wear Something You Feel comfortable In
If you’re not naturally comfortable in front of the camera, I highly recommend choosing an outfit that you feel comfortable and confident in. I have worked with clients before that have picked out a more “daring” outfit that was out of their comfort zone. When we took a look at the photos the client did not like how she looked in what she had picked out and the way she had posed in it. She stated to me she had felt uncomfortable and lacked confidence. By choosing an outfit that you absolutely love and feel really great in will allow confidence to naturally shine through! When you feel great about how you look and feel in something, your smile becomes so much brighter and your body will pose more naturally!
Know Your Angles
Speaking of posing naturally, do you know your best angles? Obviously it’s my job as a photographer to know what angles compliment the best, but you knowing how you like to look really helps with confidence in front of the camera! Taking a few moments to stand in front of a mirror to see what angles you prefer on your body is really beneficial before your photo shoot! Take a few pictures of yourself, pose a little, get creative and review what you look like. Trust me, once you get used to this it will make it much easier when someone else is taking photos of you!
Understand the Light
If you have ever worked with a professional photographer before, I am sure you have heard them go on and on about evening light. I know it sounds strange that we always seem to want to photograph in the evening on a warm summer night, but it’s totally normal. The light is far more flattering and soft when the sun is setting. By having your photos taken midday when the sun is at it’s highest peak in the sky, leads to unflattering and harsh shadows on your face. Be sure to stick to the golden hour. We want the glow of the radiance you have within, to be what shines brightly!
Ignore the Rest of the World
All too often it is so easy to let the little voice inside take over when you’re having a photo taken. It doesn’t matter if you are surrounded by a lot of people or in the middle of nowhere, just you and me, doubt will start to creep in. You may feel concerned about what others are thinking of you but in reality, most of the time, people aren’t even noticing that there is a photo shoot going on. Most photographers won’t mind if you are shy either, it’s their job to help make you feel more comfortable! So try to forget about the rest of the world and who is around you and just enjoy the moment at hand!
Similar to above and ignoring the rest of the world, it is so important to try and have fun while you’re being photographed! As a photographer I do my very best to try to keep the mood light, entertaining and comfortable. I may not be the classic comedian but I’ve learned a thing or two about making people laugh and loosen up! The more relaxed you are and can let yourself go in a photo shoot, the more confident you will feel and the nicer the photos will turn out!
I hope these pointers will help you feel more comfortable in front of the camera and help build your self-confidence! Put on that perfect outfit you absolutely adore and work your best angles! Photography is meant to be fun and creative so enjoy the experience!
The time is here, the official countdown. Six months out, from a soon to be empty nest. Your first thought and temptation is to spend the year in a sad state of mind, thinking about all of the “lasts” you will be experiencing. The last first day of school, the last varsity game, the last prom picture or the last birthday at home (this one is the real heart stopper). It’s easy to feel overwhelmingly sad at such a monumental moment of your life after all, you’ve been there from the start! As emotional as this moment will be for all of you, I would like to pull you out of the rabbit hole that’s so easy to fall into and instead create a Parent’s Guide to making it through Senior Year, perhaps better known as a “bucket list”. So here it is!
Hire a professional photographer.
Senior and family photos are two very important moments you want to capture, and you want them to turn out flawless. Try for that one perfect set of family pictures or that one unique senior pose that captures the heart of who your son/daughter truly is. I know it seems like the kids are all grown, that the need to document their gorgeous faces has lost its urgency as the transitions slow. Wrong. That just-finished-childhood-not-quite-adult look is fleeting. Get someone who knows what they are doing to capture it.
Failures - talk about them.
Open up and talk about your own failures and how you recovered from them. Don’t be afraid to be honest and detailed. We loom so large in our children’s lives as the people who once held superpowers. Let them know how those powers often failed you as both an adult and a parent. This will be a conversation that sticks in their mind and that they will thank you for.
Give a gift they won’t forget.
This moment, these last days, are worthy of a gift you both won’t forget. Although jewelry and watches seem to be traditional choices for senior year, you can also expand on this and choose something unique and original. Remember, beauty and meaning, not expense, are the key factors in this purchase.
Share some of your secrets.
This is the time to disclose what they just might not know about you, things about your life that you glossed over, but now realize that they are old enough to understand. You will be letting them know that things may not always be as they seem, and that they are now a trusted near-adult, worthy of sharing family secrets.
Before they are gone, let them go.
Some parents keep their children on an insanely tight leash their senior year. Monitoring their every move, making them check in constantly. This behavior drives them crazy, also making them feel they are not worthy of your trust. Once they are on the downhill slope of their senior year, and that college admission check off list is complete, go ahead and let them take a few victory laps! Let them go out on a school night here and there or stay out a little later than normal. They need a little taste of freedom after all, they earned it!
This is the time, for those painful talks.
This is the time to sit down and have the discussion, the one you will wish you had if, God forbid, anything was to ever go wrong. I’m not talking about where your will is or how you would like to see your possessions disbursed. I am speaking of the talk where you recognize that you are speaking to a near-adult and you tell them things like, why you love or loved their other parent (this goes for divorced parents also), what makes a good marriage, how shocking it was to find yourself a parent and yet how amazing, what kind of wife/mother husband/father you hope they will one day be. Keep in mind this will feel sad, but while you are still in that day-to-day high school routine, take a moment to talk about the really big things in life.
Grab them tight and hold them close.
This is the time to revive some of the things that slipped away from what was once, your everyday normal routine. Go ahead and give them that morning hug, or kiss on the forehead that was, for years, a nightly routine when they were little. Don’t be afraid to sit by their bed with a hand on theirs. This is the moment when we clench them even tighter, hold them close enough to take our breath away, and then, we let them go…
Your child’s senior year is going to be filled with many “lasts” and it’s going to be one of the most difficult times of your life. This will also be one of the most important teaching opportunities as a parent you will ever have. Pull strength from within, stand up and face this hardship and make every single moment count. No one ever said parenting was easy, but it sure is worth it! You will never get these moments back, so make them count!