Viewing entries tagged
high school

What will you miss?

What will you miss?

in short…EVERYTHING.

 “[We] are pretty close. I will miss our long talks and our laughs. She loves to snap pictures or videos of me not knowing, sometimes with a funny filter....definitely going to miss our laughs when she shows me those pictures/videos.”

When I started photographing high school seniors eight years ago, this new passion for life’s possibilities kinda started to spark. Not just because it was a new business, but because the “kids” that I was photographing were at a time in their life that I remember myself so vividly. I realize not everyone has the same high school experience, but even with the ups and downs, I enjoyed mine.

High School Seniors…The world is their oyster and they have so much to look forward to. Not that they all see it that way. Some can’t wait to graduate, others not so sure they’re ready. Either way it’s bittersweet; getting ready to leave behind life as they’ve known it.

At the same time, each parent was going through their own experience. It didn’t matter whether it was their first child or their fourth, it would be exciting and sad to know that this time in their life as a parent would also be going through a huge change.

In these years I have always told my senior families that one of the reasons that I am the best choice to photograph their senior is because I understand both sides of their family story: I love learning about the senior’s story and I find passion in their passion for life at this moment, but I also feel and empathize with what Mom and Dad are going through. I can always just feel the excitement, sadness and fear of the end of a chapter.

The still occasional snuggle, the ‘princess attitude’ (even if it drives me nuts) and her overall carefree personality.”

With each year that has passed, I’ve felt it more and more. And now, I’m in it. My oldest son is a teenager, so I have always felt “in the trenches” with my clients. When my seniors would talk about what’s going on in school, I knew because I heard the news from my son. When the parents would talk about how fast time flies, I knew because each year has flown by faster and faster for me too as a mom.

Now, I’m here. I’m in it. Planning my son’s senior high school portrait experience and getting ready for his last year of high school.

I’ve been thinking about the questions I ask on my senior parent questionnaire, things like, “ what will you miss most when they’re away at college?” and now, I’m answering it for myself. We haven’t even officially wrapped up Junior year yet and I have that bittersweet feeling that I’ve watched so many go through.

Class of 2020 parents, if you haven’t figured it out already, I will be asking you this question, so be ready.

I will absolutely miss the way C tells me his plan for each day, right down to what he’s eating and when he will cook it. I kind of feel like a human notepad, the kind you write your to-do list on. I think it’s partly because he knows I like to know what’s going on so I don’t worry, but also just verbally planning his day - affirmatively to make it happen. I will miss that daily chat so much. That and a kiss on the cheek goodnight. He’s a good one.😊❤️

For me, Senior Portraits are there to remind us of all the little things our memory is certain to forget.  

What’s it worth to you?

What’s it worth to you?

Of all the things you will pay for senior year, the one thing that will outlast them all are your senior pictures.

In fact, when senior year is over, where will the memories be? In pictures. But, here’s a sobering thought; most of those pictures will only exist on a phone, if at all, with many of them disappearing into the dark hole of Snapchat. And as we upgrade our phones again and again, memories will get lost or forgotten. It’s just inevitable. There’s nothing tangible. It’s been said that this is the most photographed generation, that will never have anything to show for it. Nothing in print. No permanent legacy. A forgotten generation.

All of this is hitting me personally this morning, from our family vacation. It has made me think hard about why and how I serve you as a photographer. My family has taken this vacation every year since I’ve known my husband. It is our “official beginning to summer”. My son grew up on these lakes and learned to drive a boat here. My oldest daughter made her Dad super proud when she caught her first fish, and then became “hooked” on fishing with him. It’s only my baby girl’s second summer here and I am so excited to have this be a part of her childhood as well. We light fireworks off the dock for the 4th of July and at the same time watch all the other houses around the lake do the same. In our busy life at home, this vacation is our constant. But just recently, something happened that made me realize how much we take this simple trip for granted: this may be the last time we ever get to be here and it’s hitting me a bit hard. I’m sad that my girls won’t grow up taking the boat to the restaurant for breakfast or fishing until 10:00PM (because the sun sets so late here). 

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“There’s nothing tangible. It’s been said that this is the most photographed generation, that will never have anything to show for it. Nothing in print. No permanent legacy. A forgotten generation.”

Before our 11 hour drive out to Michigan, I was so busy trying to pack and work that I didn’t have time to think like I am now. I went back and forth with myself about taking my “big” camera and ultimately decided we didn’t need to pack another bag. Especially since, “I always have my phone on me anyway and I’m always snapping pictures with it”. Ugh.

….One. Extra. Small. Bag.

Now, I am so angry at myself. It’s  hitting me that I don’t think I will have the opportunity again to do what I do with a real camera; intentionallyimmortalize the family memories we make here. iPhone pictures were “good enough” until I realized that I wouldn’t have the opportunity again. Now I can’t believe all I have is my iPhone to capture the memories from this trip. Let me tell you, there is no comparison. I’m so angry at myself for not taking my camera.

So, sitting here thinking about all of this made me realize something so important; I would have told you to take the good camera, just like I ask you to entrust me with immortalizing this moment in time for you and your child. 

As parents, we have to juggle the cost of things: time, money, resources. It can be especially difficult when there are so many costs coming at us at the same time like they do senior year. We look at all the costs as “immediate costs”: SAT registration, college applications, prom, yearbook, senior pictures. But, the problem with this is that only one of these is meant not only for right now, but more so, for later. To capture, intentionally who your child is right now, before they are onto adulthood. Before the SATs and college applications take them to their next phase of life and after all the new clothes go out of style and are given away. Because portraits are not for the “right now”, they are for the “later”. And it’s hard to see that when you are in the “right now”. 

We take so many pictures these days and our teenagers they take 10x more pictures than we do on a daily basis. But, a series of portraits is different. My job is to intentionally photograph your son or daughter. To get to know you and them. To provide them with an amazing experience that allows them (and you) to not have to worry about “how the photos will come out” or “how they will look in them”. To smile genuinely, to move freely and laugh authentically. To capture them on their best day in the most authentic way possible. They see thousands of images daily on social media that they compare themselves to and I can guaranteethat you both will love the experience and portraits that I deliver. Why? because, I do everything in my heart and soul to make sure of that.

What I do best is to capture all of that “right now”, and put it in print for you to have later. No, I don’t just throw all these memories onto a disk to be printed on 0.99 drugstore print paper or Groupon’s canvas “deal of the day” that will fade over time. These deals have their place, but it’s not in Portraits. (digital prints today are made for TODAY: quick turnaround, cheap ink, non-archival printing) For my portraits, I believe in quality over quantity because these portraits are a piece of your family history; your legacy.

In my 8 years as a professional photographer, I’ve intentionally sourced the best print labs and products to ENSURE that these memories will be printed brilliantly in color, best in quality and archival for years to come. To ensure that they are there for the later. The same print labs I use to print my own family memories.

We all make stupid decisions sometimes.

I believe in this SO MUCH, yet here I am kicking myself for not taking my camera to intentionally, beautifully capture this time and place with my family. We all make decisions we regret and I’m angry at myself that my real camera is 1,000 miles away and I have to rely on my iPhone. So angry with myself that I couldn’t go back to sleep this morning. 

So maybe it costs a little extra for a meaningful and professional experience. Maybe it’s extra time. For me, it was an extra piece of luggage.

Whatever it is, just do it. You will never regret having brilliantly colored prints that don’t fade and not having to worry about corrupted or lost digital files when you need them. Set the extra money, time or space aside to make sure that your portraits are intentionally, carefully created and last forever. This is how and why I serve you and your family as a professional photographer; the same way I should always remember to serve my own.❤️

Senior Sessions start at $150 with no minimum print purchase. Want to know more? Send me a message.

KYRA

KYRA

GET TO KNOW

Kyra Alves

MILFORD HIGH SCHOOL |  CLASS OF 2018

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"I didn't have any fear before we hired you! I was very excited to have you as my photographer and I'm so thankful I had the opportunity! Everything was my favorite. I enjoyed every aspect of the day!! I wish I could do it all over again!"

- Kyra

What was your senior experience like?

A Best Friend Session with friends Kyra and Paul.

What do you like to do when you are not in class? Play a sport? Chess team? Choir? Volunteer? What do you LOVE to do?

I am the captain of both of the volleyball and track and field teams at MHS. I'm the Vice President of Student Leadership, a member of student council, a member of Best Buddies, and I'm also apart of Peer Mentoring.

Who inspires you most and Why?

I'm most inspired by my parents. They push through any obstacles on their way and are the kindest people I know. Both my mom and dad have such big hearts. They have shaped me to become the person I am today.

If you could sit down and share a meal with anyone (deceased or alive, famous or not) who would it be and why?

I would love to share a meal with my Grandfather. I never got to meet him. He died before I was born. My mom always says how great of a man he was and how much I would've loved him. I wish I had the chance to meet him.

Tell me about an experience that has shaped your life and how it has changed you.

This is very recent, but my great aunt who I am very close with has been fighting breast cancer for about 7 years. She has always been a fighter, but we just found out her time is coming to an end. We weren't expecting this at all. My family has had to come to terms with everything and learn to appreciate life because you never know when it's going to end.

If you could travel anywhere in the world, or even spend a month living in another country, where would it be and why?

I would love to go to Italy again. It is one of the most amazing countries I have ever been to. I would also love to go to Australia. It has always been a dream of mine.

What advice would you give to incoming Freshman asking you about high school?

Enjoy it. Don't hold back and take any opportunities that come your way. Make memories and friends that will last a lifetime.

Anything else that I missed that you would like to tell me about you?

Just like you, I'm an Aquarius!! I love the beach and fall.

[I love you Kyra, my fellow Aquarian!!]

"With brave wings, she flies."
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Makeup by Claudia Frustaci

Hair by Kelly O'Grady

PAUL

PAUL

GET TO KNOW

Paul Speliakos

MILFORD HIGH SCHOOL |  CLASS OF 2018

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Thoughts on having his senior portraits taken: "I honestly didn't really have a fear, I just wanted to get my pictures done and I knew you would do a great job. My favorite part of the day was probably seeing the geese infestation on the beach. [that was crazy] You are a fantastic photographer who wants you to feel as comfortable as possible. I had a great time and lots of laughs."

- Paul

FYI, The basketball was NOT Photoshopped in. This is an authentic spin folks! - Jennifer

What was your senior experience like?

A Friend Session with Kyra and Chrissy.

What do you like to do when you are not in class? Play a sport? Chess team? Choir? Volunteer? What do you LOVE to do?

I like to play basketball and run track. I also like to hang out with my friends.

If you could travel anywhere in the world, or even spend a month living in another country, where would it be and why?

I would travel to Greece because I have family there and I would love to experience it with them.

What advice would you give to incoming Freshman asking you about high school?

Good Luck.

...I like that Paul; simple and to the point!"

Click on any image to see the full version.


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CHRISSY

CHRISSY

GET TO KNOW

Chrissy Speliakos

MILFORD HIGH SCHOOL |  CLASS OF 2018

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"My favorite part of the day was [photographing] in the fields with my friend Kyra. Having someone there with me made things so much more fun and relaxing, especially when we took pictures together. I would definitely take my pictures with Jen. You will have the best experience ever! The pictures are amazing and her positive attitude makes you feel so comfortable which makes the day so much better!"

- Chrissy

What was your senior experience like?

A Best Friend Session with my friend Kyra and my brother Paul. We went to the field, to our high school track and to Hopkinton State Park. 

What do you like to do when you are not in class? Play a sport? Chess team? Choir? Volunteer? What do you LOVE to do?

I love to run track, and hope to continue it in college.

Who inspires you most and Why?

My grandmother. She is fighting Alzheimer's and has been for over 10 years, yet she has never had a negative outlook on life.

If you could sit down and share a meal with anyone (deceased or alive, famous or not) who would it be and why?

Kerri Strug, she was an olympic gymnast who broke her ankle during an event at the olympics. I would love to hear her story and how she felt that day. 

Tell me about an experience that has shaped your life and how it has changed you.

When I was in middle school I broke my back doing gymnastics and later broke it again in track my freshman year. The doctor told me I should quit sports for good, just in case. Instead this setback made me stronger, and I am now talking to division 1 coaches for the one thing I have always fought for. 

If you could travel anywhere in the world, or even spend a month living in another country, where would it be and why?

I would travel to Greece to spend time with my family that a I have only seen once or twice. 

What advice would you give to incoming Freshman asking you about high school?

I would tell them to not let schools work alter their experience. I would want them to create a schedule that manages their work load, but gives them enough time to experience everything great high school has to offer.


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Makeup by Claudia Frustaci

Hair by Kelly O'Grady

MILLENA

MILLENA

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Millena Ribeiro

MILFORD HIGH SCHOOL |  CLASS OF 2018

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"I loved getting pampered with hair and makeup all done, I was super excited to start the day. I was just nervous I wouldn't look like myself in any of the pictures because I'm not used to getting pictures professionally done. I always saw sessions that you did with with my friends older siblings and loved the look of it all! I would totally recommend you to a best friend because you made the whole experience so much fun and something I will always remember!"

Where was your Senior Portrait Experience?

 Newburyport, MA and Plum Island

What do you like to do when you are not in class? Play a sport? Chess team? Choir? Volunteer? What do you LOVE to do?

I started track my sophomore year. I love beach days and going on random adventures wherever they may be. I love traveling it is a big part of my life.

Who inspires you most and Why?

I am very inspired by my parents because they are such hard-working people, and they always have taught me to be the best person I can be.

If you could sit down and share a meal with anyone (deceased or alive, famous or not) who would it be and why?

If I could sit down and have a meal with anyone it would have to be my Grandfather. He passed away when I was 10 and we were very close. (he always called me the favorite grandchild but my cousins don't know that)

Tell me about an experience that has shaped your life and how it has changed you.

I think an experience that changed my life was my first plane ride when I was 4years old. It was such an exciting thing and ever since then I have been in love with the idea of traveling and hope to do so all throughout my life.

If you could travel anywhere in the world, or even spend a month living in another country, where would it be and why?

My dream is to travel to Europe and go visit everywhere like Greece, France, Italy and eat everything that they are famous for.

What advice would you give to incoming Freshman asking you about high school?

I would have to say, try your hardest and keep your grades up because you don't realize how fast senior year approaches. Also just have a good time, these are going to be the most memorable 4 years of your life!

Anything else that I missed that you would like to tell me about you?

I am obsessed with my dog Billy. Everyone who knows me know how much I love him. I have a weird obsession with minions as well, I don't know why I think they're so cute!

I would love to sit down with my great grandmother who passed away a few years ago. Sadly I wasn't able to be with her on her last few days of her life and I would love to see her and speak with her one last time.

Tell me about an experience that has shaped your life and how it has changed you.

Dance in general has shaped my life. It has made me into the person I am by allowing me to be myself and stepping out of my comfort zone. The people I have met and what it has taught me will stay with me forever.

If you could travel anywhere in the world, or even spend a month living in another country, where would it be and why?

I would travel to France since I have learned the language and the country has so many beautiful sites to offer.

What advice would you give to incoming Freshman asking you about high school?

I would tell them to be yourself and don't let others bring you down. Choose your friends wisely and have fun but make sure school is a priority.

Anything else that I missed that you would like to tell me about you?

I love my family and friends. School is very important to me and I love nature.
I love the beach and of course DANCE!


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Makeup by Claudia Frustaci

Hair by Julie Pichel

Personal Styling Fay Andreola, Tellstyle.com

Makeup by Claudia Frustaci

Hair by Julie Pichel

Personal Styling Fay Andreola, Tellstyle.com

BRIANNA

BRIANNA

GET TO KNOW

Brianna Leung

MILFORD HIGH SCHOOL CLASS OF 2017

 

Brianna, you are so kind and beautiful and I loved every minute of working with you. Touring Newport with you, stopping at all those perfect locations to match the outfits lovingly curated by Fay was one heck of an enjoyable day. And to top it off, that beautiful sunset placed in the sky to top it all off with dance photos on the beach! Kind person, beautiful dancer and accomplished student. I can't wait to see all the wonderful things you accomplish going forward! 

What do you like to do outside of school?

I do competitive dance ALOT! I dance 5 days a week and I absolutely love it. It takes much of my time along with volunteering at the hospital.

Who inspires you most and Why?

I'm inspired by my mother cause she does everything for me and supports me.
She worked so hard for everything she has today.

If you could sit down and share a meal with anyone (deceased or alive, famous or not) who would it be and why?

I would love to sit down with my great grandmother who passed away a few years ago. Sadly I wasn't able to be with her on her last few days of her life and I would love to see her and speak with her one last time.

Tell me about an experience that has shaped your life and how it has changed you.

Dance in general has shaped my life. It has made me into the person I am by allowing me to be myself and stepping out of my comfort zone. The people I have met and what it has taught me will stay with me forever.

If you could travel anywhere in the world, or even spend a month living in another country, where would it be and why?

I would travel to France since I have learned the language and the country has so many beautiful sites to offer.

What advice would you give to incoming Freshman asking you about high school?

I would tell them to be yourself and don't let others bring you down. Choose your friends wisely and have fun but make sure school is a priority.

Anything else that I missed that you would like to tell me about you?

I love my family and friends. School is very important to me and I love nature.
I love the beach and of course DANCE!

 

Makeup by Claudia Frustaci, Beauty + Lifestyle

Hair by Kelly O'Grady

Personal Styling by Fay Andreola, Tellstyle.com

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Brianna's collection is TO DIE FOR! After her day in Newport, I prepared Brianna's images for her grand reveal. After watching her video, we went to work creating her gorgeous collection. Together we designed pieces that Brianna and her family will cherish forever. 

brianna-beautiful-portrait-collection

Brianna's Collection:

  • I8x12 Luxe Album
  • 16x24 Float Wrap
  • 16x30 Canvas Wrap Storyboard
  • Posh Desktop Shape Metal
  • Mini Albums
  • Matted Prints
  • Graduation Invitations