Greensburg Salem Class of 2017: Kiara’s Senior Session

This lady is no stranger to the Blog. Kiara has been featured in family portraits and I have had the great pleasure of helping her build her modeling portfolio on more than one occasion. This go-around in front of the lens would be different. This shoot was all about this baby girl graduating high school in a few short months. Que the tears. She’s my little cousin. As in, she was born when I was already half grown so the fact that she’s graduating high school is kind of a reality check. Holy crap. I’m really 29. She is really 18. What is happening??? I mean, really guys. There is a story about us that gets told at every family function and to this day, still pains me.

It was my first time changing a baby’s diaper. Her grandmother had told me to lay a blanket down on the table and lay her down on her back, grab the wipes, blah blah. I was 11. I wanted to show her that I knew what I was doing. Everything was going fine. Until, I forgot to grab the diaper. So, I placed my hand on her belly to prevent her from rolling off the table and reached with my other hand for the diaper.

In those 2 seconds, this sweet little baby reached her tiny little hand around and grabbed the closest thing…a steaming hot cup of coffee. It spilled all over the table and down her teeny tiny back. I did my best to clean her up and calm her down but she kept screaming. I felt like I had burns all over my body. That’s how bad I felt. It was killing me to see her in pain. I was cursed. I was never going to touch another baby again.

After rushing her to the ER, they confirmed she was gonna make it. Or at least that’s how it felt to me that the time. Within a week or so, her baby soft skin had healed itself. We all forget how resilient kids are. We drill into them to get back on the horse. So they do. And they come back bigger and stronger every time. The reason I am telling you all this is because this girl right here is a fighter. Even as a toddler, she was sassy. She seems real quiet at first, minds her Ps &Qs, but just give her the chance to say what’s on her mind, and you all are gonna see the world a little bit differently. She is strong, kind and probably the biggest klutz I know but she has very bright future ahead of her. Congrats Kiara. I cannot wait to see where this journey takes you. And, I am officially stating how sorry I am for traumatizing you as a little one. Think of it this way, you’re still cute so we’re square. Love you Kiki!

Do you have a Senior graduating in 2017? Are YOU graduating this year? We offer Graduation Portrait Packages for every price point because we know how hard you’ve worked and that should be documented. I wanna hear your vision. Shoot me some ideas at therustienailhead@gmail.com because I’d love to hear what you’ve got in mind. Let’s start off the last half of your Senior Year with a photo shoot to highlight your achievements and get onto those Senior Week Trips and College Applications!!

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SIDENOTE: Yes, we did go down the humongous slide and it ended up being soaking wet. Still fun though. This huge slide is located at Mammoth Park near Mount Pleasant, Pennsylvania. Words of advice: Bring wax paper and a little Pam and maybe, a pillow to land on at the bottom. ūüôā

Rainey’s Senior Session

A few weeks back, I had the pleasure of photographing my ever-so-sweet sister in law, Rainey. After 4 years of busting her butt in College Station and Stephenville, this chica is about to graduate from Tarleton State with a degree in Nursing and we literally could not be more proud of her. To celebrate this awesome milestone in her life, we headed out to River Legacy Park in Arlington, Texas to snap a few photos of Rainey before she walks across the stage.

Going into the shoot, I was sure we would head to the park and see how many smiles I could get out of Rain Dawg. You see, my sister in law is kind of a tomboy. No thanks to my husband, most days, you can find her in jeans and a T-shirt (my kinda gal). Truth be told, you are more likely to see her out hunting in West Texas or kicking up dust at Larry Joe Taylor than shopping at Sephora or cruising the racks at Nordstroms (probably my favorite thing about her). This chic is always down for an adventure!

With that in mind, I was sure that Rainey might be a little apprehensive in front of the camera. She is characteristically hiding when it comes time for family photos. One and done is kind of her style so I figured that would be how this would go. I had a plan in mind, move quickly and keep it interesting. I figured if I kept her busy, she wouldn’t notice how many photos we were taking.¬†To my surprise, when I walked through the door, I¬†was greeted by the bohemian chic version of my sister in law.¬†She was all dolled up; cute black booties, a great lavender scarf over a solid black swing dress. I loved it all. From the Opal Kendra Scott earrings to her eye shadow, Rainey looked smoking!

She didn’t have a whole lot of ideas in mind but luckily, her momma did. My mother in law had an interesting vision¬†in mind for the shoot. We scoured their house to find the perfect chair to use in a set of images and man oh man, did we luck out. We found a dusty rose colored wingback and a bright red and violet oriental rug that would be perfect.

Rainey’s only request? She wanted to incorporate her graduation gift, a new Jeep Wrangler. So of course, we had to snag a few photos of her and her new baby. And what kind of shoot would it be if we didn’t get a shot of this cowgirl’s boots?

Once we finished up with her Jeep, we headed to the¬†East side of the park, where the paddling trails are. I’ve shot here before and I love that the boat ramp gives you easy access to the water. Seeing that Rainey and I share a sense of adventure, I knew she wouldn’t mind getting in the water. We headed towards the loading ramp just as the sun was setting. After I busted my butt falling down a mud-laden hill, we headed to the bridge over looking the Trinity River and chose to close up shop.

Overall, what a great day with the Norris gals! From the brightly colored poncho blanket she brought to the cross she wears around her neck, this girl stayed authentic and true to herself and it really shined through in these images. Puds, you are going places…so go, do, dream, wish, believe and anything you want sweet girl, will be within your grasp. I am so humbled that you asked me to capture this special time in your life and I cannot wait to see where this awesome journey is about to take you! Congratulations!

 

To book your Senior Portrait Session, shoot me an email at therustienailhead@gmail.com. This year, I have had the best group of Seniors with some really crazy fun ideas. I’ve tackled Twins + Smokebombs, Indian Lake¬†+ Bowling Alleys¬†and even a Flower-filled Meadow. If you have a vision for your Portrait Session, let’s make your photo shoot the most fun and unique experience! Bring it on 2017!

Blog Spotlight: Tiffany of Jackson Signature Photography

During my last visit home to Pennsylvania, I had the great pleasure of meeting Tiffany Jackson, half of the Jackson Signature Photography duo. This husband-wife photography team specializes in Wedding, Engagement, Anniversary and Senior Photography. Based out of Latrobe, PA, their client list is growing daily. I first noticed their work while scrolling through a former classmate’s wedding photos. The images were sharp, clean and so light and airy. After a few months of slightly stalking their social media accounts, I reached out to see if Tiff would be interested in meeting for a Spotlight on the Blog. After a few back and forth emails, I knew that I had chosen the right person to interview.

We met for coffee at The White Rabbit in Greensburg, PA to chat about all things business and what it means to dive headfirst into being a small business owner. Coincidentally, Tiffany just so happens to be the Rising Tide Society Leader in Westmoreland County. She has even hosted her Tuesday Together meetings at the very place we sat down to chat. For those of you who don’t know, The Rising Tide Society is an organization that embraces the differences amongst creatives all across the country. Their business model “community over competition” has inspired and encouraged support and guidance for local businesses nationwide. In fact, our entire Blog Spotlight Series featuring creatives like Carolyn Anderson Photography, Whitney Bowman Photography¬†and Katie Norris of FOTOlanthropy is rooted with the Rising Tide Society’s ideals in mind.

When starting this business, I had so many questions and not many small business owners as friends to ask. So, I started to reach out. I found the Rising Tide, learned their motto and chose to start incorporating their ideals into the foundation of my own business model. I knew that I was never going to see my business evolve if I didn’t get some help and who better to ask than the photogs and the accounts that I had been drooling over since my launch date. Which in turn, brought me to Tiffany. I loved her style, the way she mixed the classic and the contemporary with the traditional and the bohemian. I also loved the way she portrayed her business on social media. In a world filled with so many eyes, Tiff found a¬†method to organize her galleries in a way that would draw your eye to her Blog, her website, her IG, her garden, her gorgeous house, her everything. If you take a look at any of her social media posts, you immediately feel like you know her. You can get a sense for what fills her days and what brings her joy. You shouldn’t be surprised to know that her attitude is contagious. I literally felt like I could tell her my deepest darkest secrets and I had only known her for an hour.

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During our meeting, Tiff kept stressing how important the client relationship is. Their business model is founded on the premise of building a lasting relationship with their clients.¬†A huge part of that is just getting to know them. After 8 years in the business, this duo has a good grasp for anticipating the mood of each shoot. More than anything, these two want you to see your “vision” come to life. You can be sure that whatever style or atmosphere you are hoping to convey will most definitely be portrayed if you leave these 2 in charge.

So much of making it in this business is the effort that you put in, the light that you reflect and mark you leave. Tiffany has truly curated a style and personality for their business that keeps their clients coming back. I asked her during our interview if there were any particular IG accounts or Facebook friends that I should check into for inspiration. Her recommendation was @borrowedandblue, a publication full of wedding ideas! She incorporates her love for interior design, her delight in fabulous florals and her passion for joy filled weddings into her everyday life. Which is why I can’t wait to see what she is up to next. Without giving away too many details, I can say that Tiff and Aaron have some BIG news coming up in the next year! So, make sure to keep an eye out for all the details!

If you interested in¬†following along¬†with all of Tiffany and Aaron’s adventures or to book your Wedding or Senior Shoot, head to their website, follow them on IG @jacksonsignaturephotography, Twitter¬†or give them a like on their Facebook page.

If you or you know someone who might be interested in being a part of the next Greensburg Tuesday Together Meeting, head to the White Rabbit Café on September 13th at 7pm. For more information on the Rising Tide Society, head to www.risingtidesociety.com or Join the Facebook Group to see the next upcoming meeting dates, member spotlights and more.

Sarah’s Senior Portraits

Meet Sarah! This girl is a firecracker. She’s got an amazing sense of humor and a even greater sense for adventure. I met this young lady when she wasn’t but knee-high to a grasshopper. Her mom used to bring her into the restaurant I worked at in college. I was that waitress always giving out popsicles to the kids who came in regularly. It was my genius plan to keep business coming back to the Brick. If¬†I gave the kids a treat at the end of the meal, they’d be sure to tell their parents how much they wanted to come back. It’s fair to say that I had Sarah on the hook at a young age.

This sweet girl and I immediately bonded over our love for, don’t judge me, The Secret Life of the American Teenager. Every week, her family would come in and every week, we’d catch up on our preteen TV show drama. It became a bit of ritual and I’m happy to say that all those visits turned into a great relationship. I’ve been lucky enough to see Sarah grow from being a little kid to a beautiful lady. She approached me shortly after starting my business to discuss having her Senior Portraits taken and I was over the moon.

I knew Sarah would show up in the style and I knew she’d be comfortable with me. We laughed and joked around as we strolled through the Park at Indian Lake. Her mother was cracking up as we took off under a bridge and up a huge hill to snag a few photos. I seriously could not have asked for a better session with a more beautiful client. Sarah, you are smart, sweet and kind. Please don’t lose your sense of adventure or that laugh, it’s perfect and so are you sweet girl! Let’s hope we have many more photo shoots in the future.