HS Senior Competition

High School Senior Competition

Hello Peeps! I’ve got an exciting competition for you!

Do you know a High School Senior who is deserving of FREE senior session with Marlene of All About You Portraits? Then be sure to enter this competition below.

The person with the most entries by the end of the contest wins the free senior session
The session must be held by 10/31/2019 and be within 20 miles of the studio location (1751 Hwy 304, Smithville, TX).

 Nominate A HS Senior Competition

How Wall Photos Will Boost Your Child’s Self-Esteem

Here is an important article I’m sharing published by Design Aglow.

HOW FAMILY PORTRAITS BOOST YOUR CHILD’S SELF-ESTEEM

One of the hidden but powerful aspects of family photography that moms and most photographers rarely consider is how it can help us raise children with stronger confidence in their own worth and abilities. Psychologists and experts have done some work in recent decades exploring the link.

A revealing study was conducted in 1975 with a group of fourth graders at a Tennessee school by Tulane University. During a five week period, the children took Polaroid instant photos of themselves with provided cameras in a variety of assigned poses, compositions and expressing various emotions. The children worked with the printed images of themselves and created scrapbooks once a week over those five weeks. Testing of the students and teachers at the conclusion of study revealed a significant increase of 37 percent in the students’ average self-esteem behaviors. This Murfreesboro Study shows some evidence personal photography of children seen and enjoyed in a specific way can help boost a child’s self-esteem.

But how can family photography, specifically family portraits, help boost a child’s self-esteem?  

David Krauss, a licensed psychologist from Cleveland, Ohio says, “I think it is really important to show a family as a family unit. It is so helpful for children to see themselves as a valued and important part of that family unit. A photographer’s job is to create and make the image look like a safe holding space for kids where they are safe and protected. Kids get it on a really simple level.”

Krauss is one of the earliest pioneers in using people’s personal photography and family albums to assist in mental health counseling and therapy. He co-authored “Photo Therapy and Mental Health” in 1983 that is considered a founding text for the use of photography in therapy.

“It lets children learn who they are and where they fit,” says Judy Weiser. a psychologist, art therapist and author based in Vancouver. “They learn their genealogy and the the uniqueness of their own family and its story. When a child sees a family portrait with them included in the photograph they say to themselves: ‘These people have me as part of what they are, that’s why I belong here. This is where I come from.‘”

Weiser has spent more than 20 years using all manner of personal photography to assist in the treatment process of her clients. She is considered by many to be the foremost authority on these treatment techniques, called PhotoTherapy.

When It Comes To Having The Greatest Positive Impact For Your Child, Which is Better, Digital Images or Paper Prints?

Obviously, rather than print and display family photographs, families are increasingly enjoying their images in a digital form, be it a mobile device, a laptop, or simply on social media. But does an image on a tablet, computer screen or social media site have the same impact for helping families boost a child’s self-esteem?

“My bias is very simple. I think they (family photographs) should be on the wall,” says Krauss.

“I am very conservative about self-esteem and I think placing a family photo someplace in the home where the child can see it every day without having to turn on a device or click around on a computer to find it really hits home for that child this sense of reassurance and comfort. They have a certainty about them and a protecting quality that nurtures a child. It let’s them know where they are in the pecking order and that they are loved and cared for,” says Krauss.

The importance of printed photographs displayed in your living space was echoed by other experts.

“My personal and clinical bias is there is something very powerful in touching your fingers to an actual print,” says Craig Steinberg, a licensed psychologist who works with children ages five through 13 near Eugene, Ore. “Touching the photograph where a face is smiling or the shoulders, it is the same thing as touching a book when you read it. There’s a lot of stimulation of the brain when you have that sensory experience. That is a bit lost in the move to digital. You are touching a keyboard, mouse or a touchscreen but you are not touching the image.

Displaying photos prominently in the home sends the message that our family and those in it are important to one another, and we honor the memories we have experienced,“ says Cathy Lander-Goldberg, a licensed clinical social worker and a professional photographer in St. Louis, Missouri and the director of Photo Explorations, which offers workshops to girls and women using portrait and journaling for self-reflection.

Additionally, Krauss recommends having photographs of that child with their family placed in the child’s bedroom so it can be among the last things they see before sleep and the first thing they may see before beginning their day.

“It says we love you and care about you. You’re important.”

by Chris Cummins, Contributor to Design Aglow, Images by Elizabeth Messina

Fitness is Beautiful

So many of us promise ourselves on New Year’s Eve that we’ll get fit and healthy in the coming year. Then as weeks pass, we find excuses as to why we couldn’t meet our goals. While it’s true, “life” often gets in the way, but it’s a matter of setting our priorities and keeping our focus. It’s so easy to get distracted with TV, Facebook, online games and social events. Sometimes we commit to too many things which causes us to lose focus. Sometimes we are not committed enough to our priorities and then welcome the distractions. Sometimes we are just lazy and want to sit and do nothing.

Make a commitment to love yourself first, eat healthy, and work on having a fit and healthy lifestyle. We all have 24 hours in a day. Make the time to exercise. Switch things up to keep it interesting. Take your dog for a walk. Go to the gym. Go for a morning jog before heading into work. Go for a bicycle ride. Enjoy the outdoors’ Spring air. Go for a hike. Take dance lessons. Find an exercise buddy. Commit to and schedule your exercise. Journal your progress. Set goals and challenge yourself.  Keep on moving! But do so safely.

There are five elements to fitness

  • A warmup.
  • A cardiovascular (aerobic) workout.
  • Resistance (strength-building) exercises.
  • Flexibility moves.
  • A cooldown

Your daily diet is important to your health and fitness. Learn which foods are healthy and why. Learn how to cook healthy. Keep your home well-stocked with only healthy foods to limit temptations.

Water. Drink lots and lots of water. Make a habit of drinking water before eating. Drink a half gallon of water every day. Keep a reusable water bottle with you wherever you go.

Only then will you have the energy and stamina to do all the things in life that are most important to you, and for many years to come. And just look how beautiful fitness is!

Lebel-20170304-bw_DSC8014_Bastrop.jpg

Do Tweens Exist? The “Who I Am” project + Model Call

Tween photo

“Did I not exist as a tween?” I think to myself as I flip the plastic pages of my parents’ family photo album. Absolutely no photos existed of me as a preteen.

Babies are so cute, new and chubby. Toddlers have those big, bright eyes and let’s face it, they just do the darnedest thing. But those tween ages are often forgotten. At ages 10-12, kids aren’t children anymore, but aren’t quite teens either.

I’m making it my personal mission to capture those lost preteen years. The goal is to help tweens look and feel beautiful and have unshakable  confidence in themselves when they hit junior high.

In comes the “Who I Am” project
We are starting the “Who I am” photography project to fill in the forgotten photo years while enriching the lives of preteens. 

Who we’re looking for
We are looking for female models for our photography project, ages 10-12. We will ask the model and their parents a few questions, then combine the text and photographs to create one impactful piece of art.

Why “Who I Am“?
We want to capture the the personality of these tweens and record the last stage of their childhood before they become young ladies. We want them to realize their true beauty so that they are confident in themselves before they hit Junior High. Imagine the impact a single beautiful image can do for your tweens self-image.

How to participate or nominate a friend:
Please email us by Friday, March 1st if you are interested in having your child participate in this project, or if you would like to nominate a friend or family member of yours that you think would be perfect for this. Please nominate people you think would enjoy the boutique experience we provide. The in-studio session itself is complimentary and includes $50 in product credit (a total $200 value) . Our goal is to create a gorgeous group of photos you’ll love and that truly show your daughter’s spirit and soul! Many people like to use these photos as birthday, Mothersday, Mothers Day, and “just because” gifts for their daughter. Our portrait collections are fully customizable and table top prints start at $89 .

After you email us, we will send you specific details and you can decide if this project is perfect for your daughter.

Fairy Day for Girls 3 – 8 Years Old

Fairy Days for Girls 3 – 8 Years Old

I tried it and I *loved* it! So much fun!

February 16th & 17th are 2019’s Fairy Days, so don’t miss a chance to have your Princess’ magical photos taken at very special prices!  They are titillating and magical!  Every little girl’s dream comes to life when she becomes the beautiful forest Fairy. Of course, anyone scheduling a full session can request it any time – at my regular rates.

The costumes, props, and special effects editing are all included with your pricing!

Our Fairy Portrait sessions in Bastrop County will capture your child’s imagination and provide you with an endearing keepsake! Our unique studio sets will let little minds wander into magical places as they become frolicing fairies immersed in a room-sized studio set built just for them!.
 
We build our Enchanted Forest with all the magic from the fairies. We provide the costumes and props so your child can dress up and enjoy the full experience of the Enchanted Forest creating unique portraits that will bring them and you joy in the years to come. All you need to do is bring your child and we’ll do the rest! And our Thrill Guarantee means that if you don’t LOVE your portraits we’ll do whatever it takes to be sure you do.

Whether you see them as small winged tenders of the deep natural places of the earth, or as tall stately figures with fair skin and hair, there’s one thing for certain.

If you listen closely, you can hear the whispers… The world has been absolutely captured by the Fairy Craze. These creatures appear on everything from mugs to t-shirts and have been the subject of children’s fairy tales and even supernatural romances. Fairy Day celebrates these incredible mythological creatures that have captured the imagination of people everywhere and their diverse history.

Fairy Day Price List

The Facebook event page can be found here: 2019 Fairy Day Event

To reserve your Princess’ magical spot, you can book it online here: Book My Princess

($50 deposit is required to book)

Girls Just Wanna Have Fun!

Just last weekend the weather was very warm – uncomfortably HUMID warm. But that didn’t stop a group of us photographers being a paparazzi to this group of young lady models. They did this for us as TFT (trade for time). Many models when they’re first starting out do this to gain public exposure to their looks and talent. These ladies sure did a fantastic job of endless poses and dress to keep everything mixed up nicely. And they did this for HOURS! And everyone had fun, especially when one of the models decides to play in the water. I hope you enjoy this snippet of the fun we all had together!
girl,girls,models,picture,woman,women,