Coffee Shops & College

With their  Senior year coming to an end, I decided to do one last shoot with my 2018 Model Team.  This was sort of like their ‘send off’ shoot, and a way for me to get in one last official good-bye.  These girls are scattering off all across the state in the fall, so I wanted them to be able to have pictures with their friends and also representing the college they will attend starting in August.

There’s no better place to gather right now than at the new coffee shop in town, Monticello Coffee Company.  This place is amazing.  Not only is the inside completely remodeled from what the former building used to be, but their hot/cold drink & food menu is top-notch.  There’s no need to drive all the way to Little Rock for one of those ‘big name’ coffee drinks when you can hop right over to Monticello and have one locally.  Seriously, if you haven’t tried them, you must….immediately.

SO- this group of amazing girls came glammed up with their future college t-shirt on and we had a blast.  They sipped on their homemade lemonade drinks and lounged all around the shop.  I loved hearing their excitement about all of the upcoming changes in their life.  If there’s ever been anyone prepared and ready for change, it’s these girls.  Of course, when I asked what they look forward to most after graduation, you can just about guess what they said…….

SENIOR TRIP!

I had so many amazing seniors last year that I was blessed to get to know and to photograph.  If I could share with them one piece of advice that they can carry throughout their life from here on out, it would be 100% to pray and to trust.  Whenever a difficult decision arrives and you don’t know what path to take, PRAY for God’s guidance.  He will always answer, in His perfect timing.  If/Whenever that outcome isn’t necessarily what you had hoped and prayed for, TRUST that God’s plan is perfect and things always work out in the end.

I love each and every one of ‘my seniors’, and I’ll miss seeing them around this fall.  I hope they always remember me and the fun we had at their sessions.  My ultimate goal with every senior is to make their session an experience they will never forget, and to give them 110% in everything I do.  I pray they felt that.

CLASS OF 2018, HERE’S TO AN AMAZING FUTURE!!

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Alden | Dumas, Arkansas Senior Photographer

“Nothing makes a young woman more beautiful,

than the belief that she is beautiful.”

-Sophia Loren

 

Alden only had one specific request when planning her senior session, and that was to include her cousin, Dane.

So that’s what we did.

After finishing some fun in the studio with beauty lighting and a fan gently blowing her loose curls around, we loaded up to do the outdoor portion of the session.  The first stop was to see Dane.  His grave was full of things he loved, specifically regarding duck hunting.  I know Alden’s mind was flooded with memories as we sat there.  I can’t imagine losing a good friend, who is also family, at such a young age.  I could see a mixture of emotions in her face in that short time- mostly sadness- but also a sense of proudness peeking through some smiles.  Proud that, although he physically isn’t here with us on this earth, she was able to show how much she loved and cared for him by including him in such a special time of her life, something she was documenting.  It was a humbling part of the session that I’m truly honored to have had the opportunity to be a part of.

Once we finished there, we headed to Arkansas City to continue.  Alden’s outfits were perfect, down to each accessory she picked to go with them.  She has the best girl-next-door look….the kind that when I had her smiling at me and had her look off, she would give a natural little shy laugh, and my camera shutter couldn’t keep up fast enough.

It was a beautiful evening for a beautiful girl and these are just a few of the many favorites from her session:

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Steven | Dumas, Arkansas Senior Photographer

Steven had specific ideas in mind when it came to his senior session.  He knew exactly where he wanted them taken and how he wanted them to look.

We were rained out for his first scheduled date and had to reschedule.  Since he wanted them done at the trussel over on the levee outside of Watson, the least bit of rain made it a muddy mess, so we didn’t want to chance it.

The rescheduled evening was hot and humid, but the sunset made it worth it all.  I think we all came out needing a blood transfusion, as many mosquitoes as it was over at the trussel.  If you’ve ever been over there you know what I’m talking about lol.  I definitely had to edit them off of his skin, because they were everywhere!

I’m so thrilled with how the session turned out, and I think Steven and his parents were too.  Here are their favorites:

 

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Jalyn | Dumas, Arkansas Senior Photographer

Y’all, this girl has a heart for the Lord.

When we were planning her session and discussing locations back in the spring, the first place she told me she had to go was to her church.

She is a member of First Baptist Church of Dumas.

So with her bible in tow, that’s where we went first!  She shared with me that her heart is in mission work, and although she’s young she’s already been on several mission trips!  She’s been to San Francisco, Highland North Carolina (for 4 years!), and Honduras.  Jalyn said that the most memorable was her trip to Honduras, because she was able to lead three teenagers to Christ.

Just, wow.

I don’t know if you’ve ever had the chance to talk to someone about their salvation, but I have, and I can tell you from first hand experience that it is HARD.  To be Jalyn’s age and have the courage to speak to strangers about their faith, and end up walking them through the steps to get saved, that’s truly something to be proud of!

Jalyn isn’t sure of where she wants to attend college, but she knows that she wants to become a nurse practitioner.  She then wants to take those skills overseas and become an international missionary.

Until then, she continues to love being a Majorette for the Dumas Bobcats (and that’s what she’s most excited about her senior year!), participating in the FBC Youth Choir, OCC Student Relations and Youth Committee.

Since you know how amazing Jalyn is on the inside, I feel like I can finally show you just how gorgeous she is on the outside as well.

Here are Jalyn’s favorites:

‘Therefore we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day.’  2 Corinthians 4:16

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Hunter | Dumas, Arkansas Senior Photographer

If I were to choose one word to describe Hunter, it would be social.  This guy doesn’t meet a stranger!  He truly has an amazing gift, because he can immediately make you feel like you’ve known him your entire life in one conversation.

Hunter and his mom came in for their preconsultation meeting about a month before his session.  I knew of them, but hadn’t ever met in person.  An hour passes quickly when you’re engulfed in good conversation!  I can definitely see where he gets his personality from!

Hunter shared with me about his love of government and graphic design.  He already has a small business where he does graphic design for his friends and family, and he does quite well!  He has been involved with many political organizations and events and aspires to one day take center stage on his own.  I truly, truly believe that I will see his name on a ballot of some kind in the future.  If he’s that good while a senior in high school, man oh man I can’t imagine the leaps and bounds he will take afterwards!

Graphic Design, Government, Tennis, and living life in the country- that’s who Hunter is.

Here are his favorites:

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Jackson | Dumas, Arkansas Senior Photographer

I’ve known Jackson since he was a little boy.  I played co-ed with his parents when I was younger, and his mom played ball for my dad even before that.  If you’ve ever been to the Dumas ballfields in the summertime, you’ve seen Jackson.  He loves football, but baseball is his thing.  He gets it honest.

Jackson was blessed with parents who have raised him and his brother at the ballfields.  The smell of a dirty leather glove, sweat rolling down your back, and a strawberry on your leg from that game winning slide into home.  Those late nights having to beat a team twice to win the tournament because you fell in the losers bracket earlier in the day.  Laying under the shade tree with your head on your bat bag waiting on the next game.  That’s Jackson.  That’s what he loves.

Jackson’s love for the game was passed down to him from one little high-spirited man who just so happened to be his grandpa.  I don’t remember a time seeing Mr. Dale that he wasn’t grinning.  He was the happiest man I’ve ever seen, and he was at the ballfields (along with his wife, Mrs. Ruth) anytime Jennifer, Mark or either of the boys played.  I can still remember walking up to the gate at the Dumas fields and seeing him grinning at my dad and I, and quickly catching up on how life was going before heading in to watch the games.  He wouldn’t have missed it for the world.

Mr. Dale passed away 4 years ago.  From the stories I’ve heard, Jackson was his right-hand man, his shadow.  Jackson’s mama said that’s the first thought he had when planning his senior pictures- was to take some with his grandpa’s headstone.

Mr. Dale left a legacy that’s living on through his children and grandchildren.  Jackson is a perfect example, and carrying it on well.

Here are Jackson and his family’s favorites:

 

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Carson | Dumas, Arkansas Senior Photographer

Carson, Dumas High School Class of 2018

Carson is my little red-headed firecracker.  She is so fun-loving.  Her brown sparkling eyes are almost as gorgeous as her hair.  We had a hot evening full of humidity and mosquitoes for her session, but she was a trooper!  I don’t remember hearing her complain about anything.

I love that her mama came along and got to be there during the session.  It’s so special for parents to see their ‘babies’ dressed up and get to enjoy making these memories with them.  So much changes after graduation, so these memories are priceless.

The chair you see in some of the images is a family heirloom that Page brought along.  I love when my seniors have special items they want to incorporate in their session, because it tells their story.

Here are Carson and her family’s favorites:

 

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