Category Archives: Teen Scene

Capturing the “lost generation” :: The teen scene covers so many changing years and deserve more photo credit than the token school photo or a snapshot with a phone. Capturing the teen scene is just as important as those early bay years. Capture them before they’re gone.

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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The “It” Movies This Halloween

Comin’ at-ya with some Friday the 13th scare time! Some people spend their Halloween trick-or-treating, others have a bunch of friends over and get sick after eating bags of candy, and some people go to the movies. This Halloween, we’ve got some good horror movies, both in-theaters and on DVD, plus ratings, so that you can curl up with friends or family and scare the living daylights out of yourself, all the better if you watch at midnight.


Everybody loves curling up on the couch with a bag of popcorn, pop, and a good movie, so why not enjoy that this Halloween? Here are a few movies for stay-at-home horror-lovers!

Feed – PG-13

  • Olivia (Troian Bellisario) and Matthew Grey (Tom Felton), are 18-year-old twins born into a world of privilege and high expectations. There are almost no boundaries between them; even their dreams are connected. As the twins prepare for their last year of school together, an unexpected tragedy splits them apart, leaving the one survivor to learn how to live without their other half – or test how far they are willing to go to bring them back. (WARNING: Draco Malfoy is not portraying Draco Malfoy in this film.)

Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street – R

  • In Victorian London, the barber Benjamin Barker is married to the gorgeous Lucy. They have a lovely child, Johanna. Lucy’s beauty attracts the attention of the corrupt Judge Turpin, who falsely accuses the barber of a crime that he did not commit and abuses Lucy later after gaining custody of her. After fifteen years in exile, Benjamin returns to London under the new identity of Sweeney Todd, seeking revenge against Turpin. He meets the widow Mrs. Lovett, who is the owner of a meat pie shop who tells him that Lucy swallowed arsenic many years ago, and Turpin assigned himself as Johanna’s tutor. Sweeney Todd opens a barber shop above her store, initiating a crime rampage against those who made him suffer and lose his beloved family. (Ingredient list for Sweeney Todd’s pies: HUMAN FLESH – and possibly organs, but those taste kinda gummy.)

Poltergeist – PG-13

  • All seems well for Eric Bowen (Sam Rockwell), his wife Amy (Rosemarie DeWitt), and their three children as they move into their new house in the suburbs of Illinois. Soon, youngest daughter Maddy (Kennedi Clements) begins talking to an imaginary friend, or so the family thinks. It’s not long before sinister spirits wreak havoc in the home, holding Maddy captive and forcing the parents to consult a team of parapsychologists who engage the supernatural entities in a battle for the girl’s freedom. (Involves creepy clowns – horrifying stereotype that shouldn’t be scary, but is. Immensely.)


Some people are okay with spending the extra twenty bucks for a large popcorn and soda, so head on over to the movie theater for a midnight premiere (and possibly with an extra pair of underwear). Grab your boyfriend, girlfriend, or best friend, and get ready to scream!

Happy Death Day – PG-13

  • Tree Gelbman is a blissfully self-centered college student who wakes up on her birthday in the bed of a student named Carter. As the morning goes on, Tree gets the eerie feeling that she’s experienced the events of this day before. When a masked killer suddenly takes her life in a brutal attack, she once again magically wakes up in Carter’s dorm room, completely unharmed and extremely terrified. Now, the frightened young woman must relive the same day over and over until she figures out who murdered her…and how to stop them from continuing to do it. (Supernatural murder…or really weird hallucination? Dunno, but it’s a heart-racer anyways.)

Flatliners – PG-13

  • Five medical students embark on a daring and dangerous experiment to gain insight into the mystery of what lies beyond the confines of life. The bold adventure begins when they trigger near-death experiences by stopping their hearts for short periods of time. As their trials become more perilous, each must confront the sins from their past while facing the paranormal consequences of journeying to the other side. (Note to self: don’t let anyone try to resuscitate me if I die.)

It – R

  • Seven young outcasts in Derry, Maine, are about to face their worst nightmare — an ancient, shape-shifting evil that emerges from the sewer every 27 years to prey on the town’s children. Banding together over the course of one horrifying summer, the friends must overcome their own personal fears to battle the murderous, bloodthirsty clown known as Pennywise. (Jump scares and screaming and Stephen King, oh my!)

Meet the Writer: Emma is a sophomore at Sycamore High School, and interested in studying Education and English Studies with an emphasis in Digital Film + Screenwriting.  She has a passion for creative writing, reading, traveling, performing, and singing. When she isn’t practicing for musicals, Orchesis, or choir, she is hanging with friends or just relaxing at home with a good book. And yes, she loves Shining Moments Photography and has all her images taken with SMP! 😉


Make sure to check out Andrea|SMP on social for some sparkle, tips, teen tutorials, updates, and, and, and…

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What’s New? THIS Awesome New Design! | Sycamore Senior and Teen Photographer

Montage Wall Hangings: Perfect for Athletes and Dancers!

As if Brooke’s stunning session was not amazing enough, I’m also revealing a brand-new product today that I think you’re going to love. I am very choosy about the products and prints that I offer and hand over to my clients, because I believe they should be heirloom quality, beautiful, and useful…not to mention, inspiring! I only choose items I would be proud to display in my own home or office, and I LOVE when something is especially amazing. That’s how I feel about this new piece of art: a photo montage that is perfect for athletes or dancers. You can stay up to date about this new option by signing up for our Sparkle Notes!

Brooke’s second session happened on a another chilly day in downtown Geneva, and I was a tad worried about our session, given the drop in temperatures. But, this lovely gal handled this like a champ and a true professional, and had nothing but smiles and joy for me! She is a freshman at St. Charles East High School, and has been dancing for many years. I designed the montage (scroll to the end to view!) for her with her strength and passion in mind. I’ll be offering this piece beginning in the Fall of 2017, just in time for my 2018 seniors to get theirs ordered and designed. They can be made on an Image Block Art or a Gallery Wrap, and begin at 16” x 24”.


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20×20 Image Art

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Geneva Illinois Teen Photographer || Giving Your Passion Sparkle

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Fall and Winter Style Inspiration | North Illinois Senior Photographer

There’s just a bit of a chill here in Northern Illinois, and we are all beginning to realize the chilly temperatures are here to stay! I wanted to share some fall and winter style inspiration for my upcoming clients, to help you find the best transition pieces and ideas to re-style items you may already have!

I used some of my teen models for this shoot, and then included some images from an adorable fall family session. Here’s some of our favorite picks for the cooler seasons:

-Winter hats: Zuzu, Emily and Kayla are styling some really cute and practical hats. They found theirs at Target, and you can find similar pieces HERE and HERE. Take a cue from stylish mama Zuzu, and pair your hat with a lightly quilted vest for a trendy look that will actually keep you warm!Fall-style, portrait-photographer, teen-photographer, senior-photographyFashion, Fall-fashion, trends, portraits, Photographer
-Long sweaters: The ‘duster’ sweater is extremely popular this season, and for those of us with extra-cold winters, it’s the perfect item to layer over your fitted dresses and jeans (we love THIS one). Emily (below, dark blue sweater) is also styling a hi-low sweater that looks great with skinny jeans. The look is low-maintenance, while also looking polished.teen-style, photography-teens-Short boots: The right pair of short boots can take you from busy errands to cozy holiday parties, even in rainy weather. Emma (below) is showing off her favorite pair of short boots from DSW. We love DSW for their affordable prices, big selection, and mix of high end designers and everyday styles. You can find one of our favorite pairs HERE. Although Lucky Brand shoes are a bit pricy, they are comfortable and very well-made. They’d be a pair that could last for years (moms and daughters alike can add them to their Christmas lists!)
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If you schedule a session with me, I always can help guide you through your wardrobe. Please contact me today, or sign up below for my exclusive newsletter!

Special thanks to my models! Schools represented: Sycamore High School, Cornerstone Christian School, & Aurora Central Catholic High School

Join the SMP exclusive email list so you don’t miss all the tips + details on upcoming events :: It’s FREE & only comes once-a-month…we will never flood your inbox! Just the very best things you’ll want to be in-the-know about!

  • ZuZu PuentesNovember 23, 2016 - 8:19 pm

    Love everything about this!!!!! Not only do you capture beautiful images but you help others with ideas on how to prepare for their fun photo shoots!!! You’re so amazing Andrea!!!! ReplyCancel

    • AndreaDecember 1, 2016 - 11:13 am

      Thanks so much Zuzu! I’m blessed to work with so many Amazingly-Awesome people everyday 😉ReplyCancel

Teen Photo Shoot | Sycamore Senior and Teen Photographer

Did you know that there is an age group known as the “lost generation” to photographers? Most parents love to capture the toddler and newborn years, often clamoring to schedule lots of professional shoots, complete with poses and lots of cute outfits! Of course, school photos cover much of the next years, and then before you know it, it’s time to start planning senior sessions. But, what comes in between? Those years are often skipped. In the age of smart phones, maybe a snapshot here and there capture the growing-up years, but I believe teens should have professional photos long before their senior sessions. Of course, capturing the baby years is important, because they change so quickly, but equally important are the teen years, fraught with hidden, more subtle changes. They may not change as fast, but having that excited teen smile, celebrating a driver’s license, or a sweet sixteen birthday captured with portraits is just as important.

I recently had a giveaway for a BFF giveaway shoot, and these are the beautiful images that resulted! Right now, you can book a BFF shoot like this one for just $99! You receive 20 minutes of shoot time, and 5-7 beautifully edited images to keep. This would be perfect for a tween, teen, or even two seniors before they go off to college. Find all the details at my special events page!

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