Category Archives: Senior Experience

An epic senior experience captures your best memories of high school. Get some ideas before you meet your senior photographer

The Power Pose | Sycamore Senior Photographer

Last week, I talked here on the blog about the power pose. It’s something I learned about from one of my seniors, Liz (you can find the post here), and her mom. After they told me about it, of course I went on a search for the TED talk on the psychology of the pose. What I learned was this: her 2010 research showed that striking this pose can help you “embody power” and even change your testosterone and cortisol levels. She claimed it increases confidence and tolerance for risk, as well. Although her research wasn’t super
“scientific”, the idea made tons of sense, and was something I have been thinking about ever since. Body language is powerful, and even standing up straighter has been linked to greater success in job interviews and test scores. Let’s be totally honest here, I’ve had a few big meetings recently, that were a bit stressful. Before I left the house, I actually stood in front of the mirror and power posed like a #girlboss!  Sure, I wasn’t instantly transformed into Wonder Woman, but I did feel more positive. And, whether you’re 16, 46, or 56, we can all use more positive self-talk. I may even have my seniors strike this pose now and then in their sessions!

Especially in the age of social media, I’ve found seniors and teens are wrestling with their self-esteem more than ever! In fact, Instagram was even linked in an article on CNN back in May, with negative mental health effects. Whether you’re an extrovert or an introvert, and no matter who you hang out with, be sure to not lose yourself in the hustle and bustle. For a short time until you find a new tribe in college, a 2-minute Power Pose might be just that little pick-me-up you need to tackle that intimidating first meeting, to get through sorority rush, talk to a teacher, of just stand up for yourself.

No matter how confident someone is perceived as being, we all have issues with self- doubt from time-to-time and finding your way to pick yourself back up and power on can be a key to your success!

Spread a little more SHINE to the world….and to yourself!

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Liz’s Session | Sycamore Illinois Senior Photographer

I always say people should never stop learning, and I’ve adopted that philosophy myself. I may be a mom, and yes, high school is behind me (plus a few years, wink wink), but I am a lifelong learner. Whether it’s senior photography, new books, different viewpoints, or learning a brand new skill, I dive right in. During Liz’s session, I learned lots of new things, which I’ll talk about at the end of the blog.

When I sat down with Liz and her Mom, I began thinking about her senior session, and knew it would involve nature and the great outdoors for this pretty + active gal. She is always outside, whether running, hiking, or kayaking, and there’s nothing she loves more than breathing in fresh mountain air! That’s why she is scoping out college homes in the Northwest, so she can find out everything that Washington, Oregon and Idaho have to offer. As someone who deeply misses that part of the country (hello, mountain ranges and amazing forests), I couldn’t be more thrilled for her to settle into college in one of those states.  She hopes to study bio/environmental science as well as wildlife ecology, so she’s certainly looking in the right areas. Even though we are in Illinois, we found a beautiful wooded area that really did bring the Pacific Northwest to mind, with it’s lush greenery. I hope it always helps Liz remember her senior year, her big dreams, where she was headed in her next step.

The last few images in this set tell a whole ‘nother story….the story of the POWER POSE! I can’t wait to share more about this mindset and pose in next week’s blog, so be sure to tune in. Wondering how to keep up with our latest posts and news? Don’t miss any more: sign up for Sparkle Notes add a bit more SHINE to your day + be the first to hear about all the exciting things coming to SMP {it’s more than just images, my friends!}

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Senior Photography Locations in Sycamore, Illinois

What does a photographer do on her days off? Well, i do a number of things (including being a mom/wife to my family), but one of the important things i do besides editing is scouting for locations! i am always looking forward to finding some new spots that fit my client’s personality, and with the changing Illinois temperatures, i have to always be on my toes. i try to come up with a variety of locales that suit every senior or family individually, because i believe they need to reflect personalities and styles. Whether you want something urban/downtown, or rustic and natural, i keep a list of ideas and inspirations. Although I’m always keeping my eyes open for locations, it seems there is a new one around every corner here in Sycamore and DeKalb.

When you book your session, I’ll ask you to fill out a full questionnaire, and we have a consultation to talk about everything you’re dreaming of! This customized approach means that every client gets a day that is all about them…no cookie cutter images! Senior portraits are a BIG DEAL to me + a special milestone in the life of a teen finishing up high school, and i aim to make it something to remember. Life is about celebrating BIG events, and closing out the chapter on high school is most definitely one of those BIG EVENTS!

i am currently fully booked for my Fall senior sessions, but i am opening spring dates soon. To be the first to hear about the Spring dates, sign up for Sparkle Notes so you can reserve your date as soon as they become available!

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Welcome to October at Shining Moments Photography!

October is a very busy month here at SMP, and we want to take you along for the ride! We just wrapped up our college posts, and in this month’s posts, we have a ton of new inspiration and announcements coming your way.

We have a big ANNOUNCEMENT on it’s way, and you can be the first to know: be sure to subscribe to our Sparkle Notes, and add the SMP blog to your bookmarks and RSS feed! You can also follow us on Facebook to stay up to date. But, let’s get right into the goodness for this post: We are highlighting our most popular collection: The Luxe. Parents and seniors alike love the variety of what is included in this package, especially because it includes special features like graduation announcements, gallery board, and more. It also includes a slideshow in the collection, which is the perfect, moving memory for you and your loved ones.

Here is a short snippet of a slideshow:

The Luxe collection also includes multiple outfits and locations, which means you can capture even more of your senior year and memories. You can see a great example of a Luxe shoot in Sammi’s post from last week (missed it? Come check it out), where she took advantage of a shoot that really showed all of her passions and personality. During her shoot, we started at LeRoy Oaks Forest Preserve to capture her amazing and fashionable wardrobe, and of course, a few shots for mom!

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Then she wanted to get her golf side in the memory books, so we found perfect lighting right on the course, and Sammi provided all the spunk we needed!

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And as the sun was setting on a fun afternoon, we headed over to Batavia High School, where of course, her story was grounded. She showed her fierce, softball side, and included her jersey and equipment for some really fun shots. I hope these helped show you why our Luxe collection is one of the most beloved! I’d love to answer any questions you may have; you can reach me here!

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Sammi’s Senior Session | Batavia Illinois Photographer

We have had quite a few college-related posts this month, but what better way to close out September than with senior portrait sparkle? After all, senior year is the reason you want to document this important season! Sammi and her family understood the importance of this time, and they booked a senior shoot with me to celebrate all her accomplishments and passions as she finishes out her senior year. Samantha (who goes by Sammi) and her mom wanted a really well-rounded session, complete with time at the golf course and her high school, so they opted for the Luxe Collection. Although I offer four senior packages, the Luxe provides extensive options, which is why we were able to travel to a few different locations (find out more about our Luxe package here). Sammi attends Batavia High School, and is a talented athlete, as well as student.

This beautiful girl is currently scoping out colleges in Florida, and is looking forward to beginning her degree in elementary education. Because of her deep love for golf and softball, we incorporated both into her shoot. Golf is also something that she inherited her love for from her grandpa, and her mom shared happy memories of riding in the cart with him when she was small; it is a lifelong sport shared by her family.

Sammi’s dad came along for the first part of her session, and we all had a little fun singing and dancing to some of Sammi’s favorite tunes from Ed Sheeran and Zac Brown Band: it was a mini senior-shoot party, and so much fun!

If you don’t know, I am a sucker for a good quote, and I always ask my seniors in their survey to share their favorite quote.

Sammi included this quote: “With the right pair of shoes, a girls can accomplish everything and anything”,

and I must say, her shoes really were fantastic! Mom’s were pretty cute too, so I see where she gets it.  “My style is comfy, yet cute, and I love to wear heels and dresses”, she explained. I enjoyed finding great poses and locations to suit her amazing wardrobe. I am always honored when asked to be a senior’s photographer, and I can’t wait to see where Sammi’s future takes her next.

Did you miss our college tips series? You can find a blog on your “senior lasts” here, and tips on how to start your college applications here! 

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Senior year only happens ONCE, so give your senior portraits the SHINING EXPERIENCE they deserve!

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