Portraits, Senior Portraits

Boho Cowgirl Senior | Class of 2020

Over the years, I learned, that parents are all looking for the same thing for their seniors portraits, and it’s not the same as it was when I was in school. It used to be that parents just wanted a formal portrait of their senior with a big smile looking straight at the camera. Now, parents want a photograph that captures their seniors personality – something that truly showcases what they love, their style, and their talents. This is just one of the many reasons I love being a Senior Portrait Photographer! Each senior I have been blessed to photograph has been different from all the others! Which brings me to the beautiful girl pictured above.

Rachel and I first met when I did a Winter Model Call this past winter. She was absolutely stunning and incredibly comfortable in front of the camera. Her Senior Portrait session was no different! She looked flawless in her boho cowgirl dress and lace kimono cardigan complete with boots and jewelry to match . . . and even a wild flower in her hair! The setting she chose , Curtin Village, was just as perfect! This historic village houses old barns, open fields, a small bridge, a nearby stream, and so much more!

Just to be clear, this is not just a style choice for Rachel . . . this is who she is. She is a competitive horseback rider. She competes for the American Quarter Horse Association , where she rides her own horse, and the Interscholastic Equestrian Association, where she rides a horse she has never ridden before. Rachel is going into her 7th year of competition with the IEA and has gone to Nationals 5 out of her 6 previous years of competition. Great Red Code – aka Banjo, Rachel’s 5 year old gelding, compete together in Ranch Riding. In April this year, they went to the World Equestrian Center in Wilmington, Ohio to compete at the Level 1 Championship show. They competed in the Level 1 Youth Ranch Riding, where they were named Champion, and in the Rookie Youth Ranch Riding, where they were named Reserve Champion. They also competed through the summer at Centre Hall, showing at the Pennsylvania Quarter Horse Association Mid-Summer Madness and the Keystone Showdown, coming home with Reserve Circuit Champion in the Level 1 Youth Ranch Riding and in the Open Youth Ranch Riding at both shows. They are going to compete at the All American Quarter Horse Congress this October and will be competing at the Youth World Show in August of 2020.

In the photographs below, you’ll see Rachel ROCKING her Belt Buckle from her Level 1 Achievement which she won riding her old horse, Sonnys Deluxe Day – aka Alvin. To earn a belt buckle like this you have to earn enough points in a Level 1 class. Rachel and Alvin reached 42 points in the Level 1 Youth Horsemanship, which was enough to bump them into the Level 2. Rachel told me, “Alvin is near and dear to me because he was my first show horse, taking me to the All American Quarter Horse Congress, which is a nationally recognized show and runs for a whole month.” They showed in the Level 1 Youth Trail and ended up placing 7th out of 86 entries. They have also earned many Top Ten and Finalist titles in the horsemanship, showmanship and trail at the Level 1 Championships. This year, Rachel and Alvin qualified for the Youth World show in the summer, but ended up not going due to her competition in the IEA Nationals. This girl LOVES her horses, in fact . . . ” My horses are my best friends and my life!” , is what she said exactly. I have no doubt that they love her too!

Rachel was so fun to photograph. Her fun loving, free spirit filled the air while we shot together, and she was up for anything! From spinning in her dress, to climbing trees, and laying on the ground. It was clear that this farm girl wasn’t afraid of doing anything in front of the camera. To finish the session off . . . we got in the water! Rachel went in boots and all . . . while I stumbled around barefoot with frozen toes. It was totally worth it! It turned out to be such an amazing session and I would gladly photograph this beauty any time!

Whatever YOUR style is . . . Whatever YOUR talent is . . . be sure to BRING IT just like Rachel did for her Senior Portrait Session, and I’ll be sure to capture exactly who YOU ARE for you and your parents! Contact me today to schedule your session.

xoxo,
Mindy ūüôā


2017, Portraits, Senior Portraits

When should you get your Senior Portraits done?

Hello my lovies!!

It’s been awhile since you’ve heard from me, but in the midst of my busiest season, I wanted to address a very important question. ¬†It’s one that always comes up when you have a High School Student in your household, and it is really one only you can answer. ¬†“When should we get Senior Portraits done?” ¬†If you’re asking me, I’ll tell you the short answer is: ¬†Anytime you are ready!! ¬†The long answer just leads to more questions. ¬†ūüôā ¬†Personally, I have had parents and students contact me for pictures during their Junior year in High School, after their Senior has already graduated, and even for College Graduations because they never had “senior portraits” done before!

So the real question is . . .

WHEN DO YOU WANT TO HAVE YOUR SENIOR PORTRAITS DONE?

Let me start by introducing to you Rose, Class of 2017. ¬†She is one of seven kids in her family and only the second one that wanted to have Senior Portraits done. ¬†She is a beautiful and unique young lady. ¬†She is the ONLY girl I know that is going to be a welder! ¬†Yes, you read that right. ¬†This gorgeous girl is going to be hiding behind a grungy, dirty mask to protect herself from the harmful light that welding produces. ¬†Her tiny little frame will be hidden by a jumpsuit to allow her to move freely throughout the job site. ¬†It’s that small petite size that will make her invaluable in the industry since she will be able to fit into all those small spaces that a man cannot get to. ¬†She is finishing up her education at Central Pennsylvania Institute of Science and Technology and already has a job lined up!

Rose is not the first Senior that have I have photographed that was not longer a High School Senior, but she is the first one this year! ¬†Let me tell you how it all came about ….

Bellefonte Photographer - M Photography-3545

Our conversation first started in the Fall of 2016, the beginning of her senior year. ¬†Her mom and I had talked about winter portraits, in a stream, with a summer dress. ¬†It sounded really cold to me, but this Senior Photographer was excited to try something totally different! ¬†ūüôā ¬†After the consultation with Rose, I got even more excited!! ¬†I started planning and brainstorming about how it was going to work, where it would be, and got myself ready to be “on call” for the moment we had snow. ¬†Here in Central Pennsylvania, that could be anywhere between October through April! ¬†hahaha! ¬†Sadly, due to the series of unfortunate events, that plan never happened, and before we knew it her senior year was over.

Now just because she was technically no longer a Senior, didn’t mean that her dream of having Senior Portraits was totally shattered. ¬†We just simply adjusted the time frame. ¬†She did have a little trouble getting off work because they didn’t think it was possible for her to be getting them done after her graduation, but that was the only trouble we had! So on June 15th, about a week after she graduated high school, we did her portraits!

 It turned out to be a BEAUTIFUL day!  Perfect for portraits!!

The water was still cold, but it didn’t slow us down much ¬†. . . and I’m sure it was warmer than it would have been in the winter!! ¬†ūüôā

In the end, both Rose and her mom were thrilled with the results. ¬†It wasn’t what we originally had planned, but it was beautiful none-the-less. ¬†In fact here is what her mom had to say,

“Fantastic photographer! ¬†Fantastic lady! I am beyond happy and satisfied with all of the choices! Mindy is so professional and easy to work with and so flexible which was very necessary in my case. Will definitely hire her again.”¬†

This review was completely unsolicited . . . I just got a notification in my inbox and went to check it out.  These are words from a truly happy client . . . and that means the world to me.

So whether you are a Junior, Senior, or post High School, don’t feel like your chance is over! ¬†Your portraits can be taken ANYTIME you are ready! ¬†Even if you are a Freshman that just wants to start planning out your session with me. ¬†It truly doesn’t matter. ¬†If you want “Senior Portraits” I WANT TO HEAR FROM YOU! ¬†Let’s make it happen together!

If you are ready to start planning your Senior Portrait Session, feel free to Contact Me anytime! ¬†I’d love to get you on my schedule!

Until next time, Love and Blessings,

Mindy ūüėÄ

 

2017, Eagle Scout, Senior Portraits

Court Of Honor

Hello my lovelies!

This week I found myself thinking back and remembering when I was in Elementary School and Middle School ~ I was a Brownie and a Girl Scout.  My brother was a Boy Scout . . . my mom was also a Den Mother.  I remember camping with my with my fellow scouts, learning lots, trying new things, and having lots of fun together.  My brother and I eventually dropped out of our troops, and life went on.

Fast forward to when my boys were in Elementary School, we decided to get them involved in Cub Scouts . . . and I, like my mother, became a leader for my younger sons’ group. ¬†We built birdhouses, camped, ice skated, and plenty of other fun things. ¬†My husband and I both hoped that they would continue and move up to the Boy Scouts Troop . . . but no such luck. ¬†They lost interest and dropped out.

On Sunday, March 12, 2017, I was honored to be a part of something amazing. ¬†Something that I knew was possible, but had never personally seen. ¬†One of my Seniors invited me to his Court of Honor Ceremony. ¬†A ceremony to celebrate becoming and Eagle Scout. ¬†The highest honor of any Boy Scout. ¬†He didn’t start out early in Cub Scouts and even got a late start as a Boy Scout, but Noah, with hard work and determination made it happen.

I first met Noah when my oldest son began to play soccer for the our high school team. ¬†Noah is a year older than my oldest and was on the varsity team. ¬†It was obvious from the very first game that he was one you keep your eye on. ¬†Then, I ran into him on the track team, when my younger son joined the team. ¬†Soon, I was seeing Noah everywhere. ¬†He’s a member of the¬†drama group, the choir and regional choir, the band and regional band, and is even the drum major for the marching band this year. ¬†He’s on the track team and was a captain of the varsity soccer team . . . and of course a Boy Scout. ¬†I know there is much more that I am forgetting, but you get the point. ¬†Noah is an exceptional young man.

Part of becoming an Eagle Scout is to do a service project for the community. ¬†During Noah’s Senior Portrait Session, we took photos of him at his project location. ¬†Bald Eagle State Park is a park that I go to often. ¬†It’s close to my home and is a beautiful location for photos. ¬†With the mountains in the background, the lake, and all of nature around – you can’t go wrong! ¬†When The Nature Inn was added to the park, it only made the scenery more beautiful. ¬†It was at this State Park that Noah did his Eagle Scout service project.

Noah’s project was located at the Environmental Learning Center at Bald Eagle State Park. ¬†The project was to restore and make additions to the bird-watching area. ¬†It included tiling the area and planting new grass, removing rocks and weeds, sanding and sealing the split-rail fence, placing mulch under the length of the fence, fixing a large open bird feeder and building a second, identical bird feeder, and then painting both. ¬†He also refurbished two raised flower beds for planting native plants, butterfly milkweed, and bee balm at the request of the park. ¬†He began all of this work on July 2, 2016 and finished on August 20, 2016. ¬†His hard work paid off . . . It turned out beautifully!

Finally the day arrived, five years after he first became a scout and 23 merit badges later, Noah and his family were about to celebrate this huge accomplishment. ¬†He had his family and friends there along with his Scout Troop 370 and several honored guest there, all to pay tribute to him. ¬†He stood at the front of Faith UM Church¬†and accepted each token and certificate with humility and grace. ¬†As a parent, I know that his parents sat proudly beaming, and probably fighting back the tears at times. ¬†I know this because as his photographer, I was beaming with pride and fighting back tears of my own. ¬†I have never been of part of such a ceremony . . . and I was truly amazed at the number of guest that were there to honor Noah’s accomplishment. ¬†Among those guests were our State Senator, Jake Corman and our State House of Representatives, Kerry Benninghoff, along with our Centre County Commissioners, Mark Higgins and Steve Dershem. ¬†There were also representatives from the Elks Lodge #1094, Nittany Leathernecks, PA State Police, the Centre County Sheriff, and though our U.S. House of Representatives, Glenn Thompson, couldn’t be there, he sent a certificate to honor Noah.

For me, there were a few very moving moments during the ceremony. ¬†The first being when Noah’s grandfather took the podium for the Eagle Charge and Promise.

That was closely followed by Noah receiving his Eagle Scout Pin and then presenting his parents with their own pins.

And then the presentation of Noah’s Mentor Pin. ¬†I found this particularly special because he chose his best friend, the one that got him involved in scouts, to receive his Mentor Pin. Though Dion may have suspected that he would be the one chosen, he was still clearly moved by the decision.

After it was all over and the colors were retired, we celebrated!  Photos and food and close inspection of all his certificates and gift given during the ceremony.  There were SO many certificates, that in the photo below, some had to be covered by others.

Noah plans to return to Philmont Scout Ranch with Troop 370 as and adult leader in the summer of 2018.  In the meantime, Noah will graduate from Bellefonte Area High School in June of 2017.  In the summer he will begin his college education at Penn State, where he will study Nuclear Engineering.  He also hopes to join he Naval ROTC.

Noah, I am honored and proud to call you one of “my” seniors! Thank you for including me in this monumental moment in your life. ¬†Thank you for choosing me as your Senior Portrait Photographer. ¬†I wish you all the best in everything you do . . . though I have no doubt that you will be successful in anything you put your mind to. ¬†Stay true to who you are and never doubt your abilities.

¬†“Whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable–if anything is excellent or praiseworthy–think about such things.” Philippians 4:8¬†

Charlene and Frank, congratulations!  You have raise a wonderful young man and should be very proud!  Thank you for sharing him with me, and for inviting me to his ceremony.  I truly enjoyed myself and will remember it forever.

If you are interested in learning more about Boy Scouting in your area, visit this website: www.scouting.org.  If you are interested in learning more about Girl Scouting in your area, visit this website:  www.girlscouts.org.

The Bellefonte Class of 2017 has been a truly incredible class to photograph. ¬†Every time I turn around I hear of another one of “my” seniors accomplishing something new, being honored in some fashion or another. ¬†I truly look forward to hearing about each and every little and big “win” in their lives . . . and I can’t wait to see what the Class of 2018 will be like! ¬†If you are ready to schedule your Senior Portrait Session or just have questions, please feel free to contact me!

Until then . ..

Love and Blessings to you all!

Mindy ūüôā