Positive Parenting: Finding the Good in Teenagers
On occasion I’ll be paging through poems or quotes and come across something really meaningful. That was a few months ago, but today is the day I’ll finally write and share. If you know me, you know photography is not a job for me. It never has been. But finding what I love the shoot? Now THAT was a job! It took years of shooting anything and everything from newborns and babies to families to seniors. Taking every job I was offered. Pretty much everything but weddings…and I even tried that once. Where did my love fall? With teenagers. Hands down, no question about it. Many people think I’m crazy, other photographers wouldn’t even think of taking on a full schedule of teenagers. But for me, it is a time in their lives that I truly love! They are acting out, learning about themselves, and growing up. I love being a part of it, hearing about their passions, sports, school, friends, music, and even the drama. I love it all!
And then I hear the comments…
You know the ones.”Lookout when your kids are teenagers!” “The teenage years are worse than terrible twos!” “I can’t wait to get my teenagers out of the house!” Did you ever stop to think that your kids hear this? Even if it isn’t from you, everyone seems to have this impression of teenagers. So in my search, I found this lovely poem written by Natalie Stafford. Let’s just say it puts it all in perspective.
A Positive Outlook
We all know how much words mean, both positive and negative. When teens hear so much negative talk, of course they’re going to take it to heart! So I’m going to take the time to talk about some amazing teenagers, some just starting their teen years and some who were clients years ago and are now in their 20’s. I can honestly say that I have NEVER had a teen that I didn’t love. I’ve had some that were insecure, some that said they hated senior pictures. Most, if not all were nervous. I love keeping in touch with the families to see how everyone is doing! If you’re one of my past seniors or their parents, please reach out and let me know how everyone is doing! I’d love to catch an updated headshot if possible and blog/brag about them!
From full college scholarships and successful sports careers to engagements, law school, and so much more! Teenagers have as much to offer the world now as they did then. I’m so proud of each and every one of the high school seniors and how they’ve started off their young adult lives! Below are just a few of the teens who I’ve kept in touch with and watched them as they begin their adult lives.
Perry High School Graduate, Kelci Abernethy
Check out Kelci’s senior portraits from 2015! And if you want to see some awesome baseball pictures, you won’t want to miss her brother Connor’s senior portraits!
Red Mountain High School Graduate, Paige Stabley
Red Mountain High School Graduate, Alli Newman
If you have kids and teens but haven’t visited Hands Free Mama, take some time to check it out! You’ll see this poem as well as many other resources on parenting your teenager!
Mesa Photographer for Boys
As a Mesa photographer, I love capturing the bond between brothers! If you’re the mom of boys, I’m sure you know how special it is to have pictures of your boys together! Well it was important for Amy too! I’ve known Connor and Kaden for quite a few years and have done several sessions for their family, including their older sister’s senior portraits. So when it was time for some updated pictures and modeling headshots, I was glad that Amy called me again to work with her boys. Connor and Kaden make it so easy. Since I’m updating my blog, I’m finally catching up on some older sessions that were amazing and need to be shared!
“Sometimes being a brother is even better than being a superhero.”
Urban Portraits for Boys
We chose an cute little Tempe location that would give us some great urban shots using the brick background for the boys. How could you not fall in love with those gorgeous blue eyes?!?! And I promise, there is no extra photoshop here. They really are THAT blue!
My heart melts seeing Kaden’s sweet grin! This is always the age that parents miss. Those precious in between years when they suddenly grown up and aren’t babies anymore!
In the exact same location, with a little creativity, we were able to the beautiful green backgrounds that moms love!
This year I had the added treat of Connor’s longer hair. This teen goes from clean cut preppy to teenage heartbreaker just by running his fingers through his hair! Love that deep stare, and did I mention those eyes???
Calligraphy Tips for Beginners
Something I’ve picked up within the past year and a half is hand lettering, or modern calligraphy.
This kind of style is new and fun, and it’s different from the kind of calligraphy you may have seen from hundreds of years ago. With the help of a bunch of different YouTube videos and Pinterest posts, I have become obsessed with improving my hand lettering! I am no expert and am still learning, but here are some of the tips and tricks I’ve learned, along with some product and Instagram suggestions!
Make sure you are writing correctly.
For this style of lettering, it’s important to do a thicker line on the downstroke (more pressure with your pen) , and a thinner line on the upstroke (less pressure with your pen). This is key to modern calligraphy, or really any type of calligraphy. It’s hard to get the hang of this at first, so try some exercises like this:
Choose the right brush.
For this style of lettering, I use the Tombow Dual Tip Brush Markers. They come in loads of different colors and are super fun to play with! Each marker has a brush tip, and on the other side has a bullet tip for faux calligraphy or any other type of writing. They are fantastic. (Pro tip: use a smooth marker paper or sketchbook if you want to buy some Tombows. Believe it or not, regular printer paper is rough on the brush tip, and can leave it frayed!) A cheaper alternative are Crayola markers, or the Crayola Super Tip Markers. Below you can see how you can achieve a similar effect with the Crayola markers for a fraction of the cost. You may want to consider starting out with these, and if you are interested further in hand lettering, check out the Tombows.
Fake it till you make it!
I started off without using any type of brush markers or Crayola markers. I used a regular pen or pencil to create my hand lettering. I’m glad I started off this way. I got the hang of what the lettering should look like, and I had so much more control over the letters. For this, you add another line and fill it in next to the downstrokes. It’s hard to explain, so look at the picture below for help!
It’s hard at first to make your lettering look like all those pictures you see on Pinterest and Instagram. This is something I’m still working on! Especially when you start out with brush markers, it’s easy to get discouraged. It all looks so easy, and then you go to try and make your letters, and it looks horrible. Don’t give up! Keep trying and practicing. You’ll soon see that you are more comfortable. For inspiration on different designs, check out Instagram and Pinterest. They have loads of cute quotes and words to replicate. This is mainly what I do, but am starting to branch out and create my own designs.
Want some ideas on who to follow on Instagram? Here are some of my favorite accounts!
@amandaarneill, @calligrabasics, @calligraphy_by_drew, @calligraphynerd, @hellotosha, @itskateshandwriting, @krystalwhitten, @lesliemaedesigns, @makewells, @oncewrite
Best of luck in your hand lettering journey!
Meet Our Guest Blogger, Mercy Rivera
Hey guys! After Alli posted her intro I figured it was time for me to post one as well!
To start off like my fellow blogger, here are some my favorite things:
Black, Burgundy, and grey.
Pizza, burgers, soup, and Wings (I’m a big fan of spicy food!)
The Good Doctor, Stranger Things, Black Mirror, Leverage, Sherlock and American Horror Story! (I like a good variety)!
My bed (for napping, which happens on the daily), outside stargazing at night, where ever my dog is, the movies and Anywhere my friends are!
Yoga and the occasional hike to a pretty scenery!
Corpse Bride, Evolution, The Artist, Midnight in Paris, Doctor strange, Alice in Wonderland (the original animated one) and Crimson Peak! (I’m a movie fanatic! I’ve seen so many it’s hard to choose!)
Florence and the machine, Lorde, Nina Simone, Lesley Gore, Nancy Sinatra, Melanie Martinez, The Weekend, Two feet, and Natalia Lafourcade.
Winter and Fall
The origin story (of ya girl)
The journey of my hair …
I was born in Gilbert, Arizona. When I was around 8 my family and I all moved to California where I pursued a career in Acting and modeling. Until we moved back to Arizona for my dad’s work (I was 14). When I moved back I told my parents I wanted to go to a regular school instead of online school which I’d been doing since Middle school. I transferred to a public high school my sophomore year and I graduated in May of 2017! In case you were wondering, I’m Mexican, both my mom and my dad are Mexican (My mom is part Irish). I have 2 older brothers and a fluffy dog named Laika! My family is full laughter, sarcasm, and really good food. I met Michelle through mutual friends and immediately hit it off! Since then we’ve become good friends and I’m always down to help her out!
Fun things about me (maybe)
Besides having a professional background in acting and modeling I also enjoy Art. One of my favorite things to do is to go to art museums with a good music playlist and walk around! Other than being an artist on the side I’ve always had a passion for writing. I’ve always got new ideas for poems, novels, or short stories! I love reading H.P. Lovecraft, Edgar Allen Poe, and Lewis Carroll, anything out of the ordinary and exciting! Scary movies and paranormal based YouTube videos are an obsession. I also love to sleep which makes me bad at replying to people! Exploring places and having Adventures is something I’m always down to do! One of my favorite forms of art is tattoos and I’ve been obsessed all my life with them! I was the first one family to get a tattoo! I got my first one when I was 17 after years of begging. It’s for one of my brothers that passed away a long time ago. The second one I got was when I was still 17. It’s a nickname my mom calls me. I love tattoos and I can’t wait to get more! I can’t sit still for too long or I’ll get bored (unless I’m sleeping)! I love changing my look up or adding to it. Like getting different haircuts, hair colors, tattoos etc.!
My beautiful fluff!
What I’m doing right now (mostly sleeping)
Currently, I’m going to a local Community College then transferring to a 4-year university. I’m working towards getting my B.A. in Creative Writing! Getting my degree in this gives me the freedom to do a variety of things I like doing, I could use it to help become a journalist, novelist or a lyricist to name a couple. What I’m going to minor in is still under debate. Recently I went back into the tattoo shop (now 18) to get more ink. Currently, I have 16 tattoos, they’re all on my upper arm. I went with my brother and he got his first Tattoo while we were there! I still love to model! Professionally, I usually shoot with Michelle (as you can probably tell), I also do some shoots for fun with my friends/family! Both usually give me awesome pictures to post on social media!
I hope you guys enjoyed getting to know me more! I’ll be writing more often so stay tuned!