Oh my gosh, this family, they are the best!! I just love how cute they all are together. I have taken pictures for them for the past couple of years and they are one of my very favorite parts of the holiday season. Plus they gave me one of my all-time favorite compliments the first time I took their pictures back in 2012. Kristen, the mother of this beautiful family, wrote, "You were able to make two people who hide from cameras, and one motor muffins who won't slow down for one look like being in pictures is their job." How nice is that?? 5 years later and it is still one of my favorite comments!!
I was lucky enough to get some of Kristen alone with both of her beautiful daughters. And I thought taking pictures of seniors and their moms was fun! Well it is, but this might have been just a little bit more fun. I also made sure to get some of the whole family and one of the 2 girls in their ridiculously adorable Christmas hats, so cute!!
I loved how much fun they all seemed to have that day, there were lots of smiles and laughs to be had. And the day cooperated too, the lighting was just amazing, all golden and sparkly, kind of just like the DeMayo clan!! I was very happy that once again I was able to get some of the girls together doing sisterly things. Having a sister myself and having 3 girls, I absolutely love seeing, and being able to capture, the sisterly bond. A gift of a sister is one of the best gifts that any parent can give to a child, it truly is the gift that keeps on giving. I also love that I was able to get some of each of the girls by themselves. The older ones eyes are absolutely to die for (Kristen the mom jokes with me that my Kristen with her own set of amazing baby blues belongs more in her family than mine. Can't really argue with that). And the younger one, in addition to gorgeous eyes of her own, is one of the most expressive children that I have ever had the pleasure of working with. No poker face on that one, that's for sure!!
I would be remiss if I left out dad, Gary. It needs to be noted that he is always such a trooper with all of his girls. It isn't easy being surrounded by women all the time (even their dog is female) but he handles it with ease, and a healthy dose of compromise and coordination. Speaking of coordination, how great was their color coordination? Those outfit choices are fabulous! Kristen told me a few days before about how happy she was to have found outfits that both girls liked and would wear especially since the older one doesn't love frills while the little one is as girly girl as you can get. Perfect compromise, and just adorable!!!
Thank you to the Demayo family for sharing your holiday season with me once again this year. It is always such an honor and a privilege to be invited to help you capture your family as your girls grow. I hope that you all had a very Merry Christmas and that Santa was very good to you all. I wish you a very Happy New Year and that all of your hopes and dreams for 2018, and beyond, come true. Thank you again.
Seriously how gorgeous is Shelbbie? Personally, I am going to go with absolutely stunning! And she was just as nice and polite as she was beautiful. As a photographer, I certainly can't complain about that combination, especially since it made my job really easy!!
I loved the outfit that Shelbbie chose, it was so simple yet so eyecatching. The yellow was beautiful with her complexion, her flawless complexion, I might add. Her accessories were on point as well, I mean, how unique and fabulous is that necklace?? The locations that we chose were also outstanding. We chose a couple of local parks and the natural beauty of both parks was a perfect complement for Shelbbie's own natural beauty. Surrounded by beauty is not a bad way to spend a Friday afternoon, just saying.
I didn't know Shelbbie before we met that day but it didn't take us very long to hit it off. It turns out that we have a few people in common. She is best friends with one of my son's football teammates, he also happens to live around the corner from us and is one of the captains of the team so I saw a lot of him this fall. And she is also the sister of one of our former, and favorite, students from my school. She is also the cousin of one of our current students, he is also one of our favorites. I had a great time catching up on the latest news of her brother as well as getting the inside scoop on what makes her cousin tick. He is a very interesting little guy so that was pretty fascinating, ha, ha!!
With a football player, and multi sport athlete, as her best friend, it is no wonder that Shelbbie wants to explore physical therapy as a profession. She has such a sweet and kind personality that I am sure that she will be great at it. After all, it takes a lot of patience and empathy to help get people back on their feet and from what I could gather, Shelbbie has plenty of both. Although if that field doesn't work out, I am sure that she can always explore a career in modeling, she was such a natural in front of the camera, and a natural beauty!! As a matter of fact, Shelbbie told me that day that she has done some modeling before, hearing that was not surprising in the least.
Thank you, Shelbbie for choosing me to take your senior pictures for you. It was such a pleasure meeting you and getting the chance to spend a beautiful afternoon with you. I hope that you have an amazing senior year. I loved what you wrote for your hope for senior year, "I hope to get through this year and finish stronger than ever." What a great way to put it, I am sure that you will do just that. Best of luck in all of your future endeavors, may your successes be many and your challenges be few!! Take care and thank you again.
What a great guy Josh is. He is always so nice and helpful. As just one example, before my son got his license this summer, he would often get a ride home from one of his teammates. Nine times out of ten when I asked him which teammate gave him a ride, it was Josh. So even more reason for me to like and appreciate what a nice guy Josh is, he saved me from either picking up my son or from hearing about it if I couldn't!! Nice and handsome, pretty lethal combination if you ask me!!
Josh has played football for all 4 years of high school and he was an invaluable member of the team. The season didn't quite end the way the team hoped but that didn't mean the season wasn't a success, it was. And it was wonderful to watch this team come together and as the season went on, it was obvious that the "Us, We, Together, Forever" mantra at the end of each game really meant something to these guys, both on and off the field. In addition to football, Josh also wrestles and plays lacrosse. I haven't had the opportunity to watch him compete in either sport but knowing Josh, I am sure that he gives 100% on and off the field, or mat, as well.
Josh was also a presenter for a recent event at the high school. A few years back, the high school began a tradition of hosting an even to award yearbook superlatives. Josh presented with one of his teammates and friends. Not only did they do an excellent job, they also looked very handsome as well. Josh may or may not have won an award, I don't want to be a spoiler so you won't hear from me, you will just have to wait until yearbooks come out, ha!!
Josh was also nice enough to pose for some pictures with his mom. This made me very happy because mom and senior pictures have been a bit of a focus for me this year. It is obvious where Josh gets his kindness from, his mom, Elissa, is one of the nicest and kindest people that I know. She is so sweet and supportive and I loved being able to capture the bond that the two obviously share. She is also super patient. In the rush of getting everyone's pictures ready for the yearbook followed closely by the holiday season, I have not only taken a long time to get this blog done but it also took me a while to do the pictures of the two of them together. But Elissa has not complained once and has been very appreciative and grateful for which I am extremely grateful and appreciative.
Thank you Josh for sharing a little bit of your senior year with me. And thank you to you and all of your football brothers for a fabulous football season, I loved watching you all grow as players, teammates and young men throughout the course of the season. It wasn't easy but you all always did your best, on and off the field and in the end, that is what will stay with you. I hope that you enjoy the rest of your senior year and that your wrestling and lacrosse seasons are productive, memorable and most of all, fun. I look forward to getting to seeing you and your classmates enjoy all of the important moments this year, hopefully I will be able to capture some of them with my camera. Best of luck in the future, I hope that it is all you wish for and more. Thank you again!!
I have a confession to make, at one point, I totally asked Brianne if anyone had ever told her that she looked like a famous actress. Any guesses which actress? If you said Anne Hathaway, then you would be correct. By the way, it would be The Princess Diaries, Ella Enchanted Anne, not The Devil Wore Prada or One Day, Anne. When I asked Brianne if she had ever heard this before, she did admit that she has heard it on occasion. For the record, I think Brianne might be even prettier than Anne, just saying!!
Brianne is a self proclaimed fall girl so she wanted to make sure that her location contained some fall foliage. Normally this is not a problem in New England but with the warmer than usual temps this fall, it was a bit of an issue. Although I shouldn't say issue, Brianne and her mom were so flexible, and fabulous, that we were easily able to find a date that worked for all of us, and Mother Nature. And we certainly got some gorgeous colors to go with this gorgeous girl! Not that I am complaining about the warmer temperatures, I would never do that especially not as I sit here contemplating the fact that the City of Boston has just issued a weather advisory for tonight, stating that frostbite can happen in as little as 30 minutes, yikes!! So certainly not complaining about a little warmth, more like wishing some of it will make its way back to us.
Like so many girls these days, Brianne is an athlete, she plays volleyball and basketball. I really love that so many girls are involved in high school athletics these days. I was in high school in the early 80s and high school sports were not nearly as popular with girls as they are these days. They were just starting to gain popularity and it wonderful to see where it has ended up. It is so beneficial to any teenager to be a member of a team, there are so many life lessons that can be learned through participation in a sport. Back to Brianne though, she also an excellent student. On her questionnaire for me, she listed wanting to get on the high honor roll as her biggest hope for this year.
Brianne's mother was kind enough to pose for a couple of pictures with Brianne. Wow, you can certainly see where Brianne gets her beauty from, can't you? Not to mention, both have wonderful carriage and share a sense of elegance about them. I am so glad that so many of my moms, and dads, decided to take pictures with their seniors this year. It is such a momentous time of life, for both senior and their family, and it is really nice to be able to capture a little bit of it on both sides.
Thank you, Brianne, for choosing me to help you document a bit of your senior year. It was such a pleasure to meet with you and your mom on such a beautiful day. Thank you for your flexibility with the scheduling, that combined with your natural ease in front of the camera, and your natural beauty, made taking your pictures a breeze (a nice breeze, not the frigid below zero breeze that is supposed to happen tonight, ha!!). I hope that you have a wonderful senior year and that you take the time to enjoy each and every moment and to cherish every memory! Best of luck in the future, I hope that it is everything that you have always dreamed it would be. Thank you again.
Olivia may have been the single biggest trooper that I have ever had the pleasure of working with. We were meeting on a Saturday morning but the weather forecast for the previous night and that morning was not looking good. But Olivia had a feeling that we might be able to get a window of opportunity and that we should keep with the plan. And she was right, the rain held off long enough for us to take plenty of great shots. And the fact that everything was pretty wet didn't faze Olivia in the least, she just amiably worked with what we had. What a great sport!!
Olivia heard about me because she goes to the same agricultural high school as my niece graduated from last year. What is so much fun about working with the students at this high school is not only do they love animals, they also have access to them. How fun to have a cattle in your senior pictures. And not only that, Pepper made a friend while we were there, so fun!
As you can imagine, Olivia's activities and achievements are mostly centered around her work with animals. She participates in horseback riding, is a member of the Future Farmers of America (FFA) and she currently works at the farm at her school. That was a big part of why she was unfazed by the hour and the weather when we met, she is used to working at 5:00 am most weekends anyway. Plus didn't she do a great job of brightening up the pictures? She is so natural and has such a great smile, it is impossible to tell that is was a pretty gloomy morning!
In addition to her school giving us a great setting, and possibly the best prop ever in Pepper, it has also provided Olivia with unique opportunities. One of which is winning the FFA dairy evaluation as a team and as an individual. That is an honor that enabled her to qualify to go to nationals in Indiana. Is it any wonder that Olivia feels that her school is, in her own words, ".....one of the coolest high schools I could have attended." Love to hear when seniors feel validated in their choices.
Thank you Olivia for choosing me to take your senior pictures, and for being such a trooper, you make it look so easy and natural. I hope that you have enjoying your senior year and that you thoroughly enjoy each and every moment and milestone that you have left on your journey. Best of luck in the future and I hope that you achieve your dream of working with livestock, either as a farmer or a researcher. Take care and thank you again!!
Ahh, Julia, what a doll Julia is!! She is such a sweetheart anyway but what makes writing this blog is that I have literally known her since before she was born. In fact, she tried to mess up one of my parties once. See, her mom is my son Jack's godmother, and she went into labor with Julia during his christening. Luckily, it was during the celebration after and her official duties had already been taken care of. To my mind, this is even more reason to love Julia, she knew there was a Jolley party going on and she wanted to be a part of it. She has been a part of many of our family celebrations and traditions over the years so it was quite the privilege and honor to be able to capture this special time of her life.
Julia has the best smile, so pretty and natural, and she is always willing to share it, very rarely do I see Julia without a big smile. And in addition to being so adorable, Julia is also an athlete, she plays softball and made her high school varsity team after only playing for one year. She also participates in her school's annual theater productions, is an announcer for her high school's radio/TV station and a member of her student council. In addition, Julia is also an accomplished student, she is a member of the National Honor Society. All that, and one of the nicest kids that I know!!
Julia didn't really have a preference on location so she let me choose a location. I have a couple of spots that I especially love in the fall so I took them to those places. One of them is a lake beach in a nearby town that is just perfect in the fall. It has such a beachy feel without travelling too far. Before the beach, we hit a local state park. Let me tell you, the light was just outstanding in both places, absolutely beautiful. Almost as beautiful as Julia in fact!!
As much as I love Julia, the best part about her shoot may have been that her mom came with her. Talk about a double bonus!! Julia's mom, Donna has been one of my best friends since I was just a little older than Julia is now. It was wonderful to get to spend some time with both of them and I was especially happy to get a picture of the two of them together. I just love the mother daughter bond that they share, it is quite obvious that they have a special relationship. Another cool thing about our shoot is that without even realizing it, I "arranged" a special treat at the end. Donna is an ice cream fanatic (at her birthday party last year, she had an ice cream bar). Well the locations that I chose were 5 minutes away from one of the best ice cream stands in the state. So of course, we had to get some ice cream before we went our separate ways. One of the best ends of a shoot, ever!!!
Thank you Julia for choosing me to take your senior pictures. It was such a pleasure to spend a gorgeous afternoon with 2 of my favorite gorgeous girls. It was so much fun to watch you pose and show off your style, almost as much fun as it has been to watch you grow into such a beautiful and kind young lady. And yes, I would have said that even without the ice cream!! I hope that you have a tremendous rest of your senior year and that you enjoy each and every moment. Best of luck in the future, I can't wait to see what it holds for you, without a doubt it will be something special. Love you, thanks again for sharing a bit of your senior year with me.
Thomas is such an accomplished, and nice, kid that I honestly don't even know where to start with him. Well I guess the best place might be at the beginning, of our shoot that is. Like I said, Thomas is really impressive and that includes how he carries himself. For example, he wanted to make sure that he got some pictures in his suit. As he should, he looked quite dashing in it. We originally were going to shoot at a different location but then I remembered that this particular park has a play lemonade stand which would be just perfect for Thomas. Last year as a junior, Thomas applied for, and received, a grant from a local bank to run an after school program at our elementary school to teach business and marketing strategies. The product and venue? Lemonade from your neighborhood lemonade stand. So we totally needed to get a picture of Thomas in his suit by the lemonade stand!!
The list of his activities during high school is quite extensive. He is a past member of DECA and the now disbanded Astronomy Club and a current member of the Math Team and a Junior Statesmen of America/Model United Nations/Youth and Government, by the way, those used to be 3 separate clubs but Thomas oversaw their merger into 1 club. He also is a commentator for Knightline, the high school news station, a volunteer for Stoughton Media Access Cable station (I sometimes help SMAC out as well so I see him a lot in this capacity) and is involved with the Supplemental Education Programs of America. In addition, he is also a member of School Council and is currently in the process of starting a National Business Honor Society with one of his teachers and is the the media coordinator for the Advisory program at the high school.. And, there is more (although I am not quite sure how he can possibly fit anymore into a day), he is running a film festival and is a member of the Walking Dead Fan Club. Whew, I don't know about you but just reading all that makes me tired, didn't I tell you he was impressive??
Thomas was sweet enough to take some pictures with his mom, Cheryl. It is quite obvious that they have a great relationship and a really strong bond! Needless to say that while she is extremely proud and wants only the best for him, she feels a little verklempt when she thinks of him going off to college. I don't blame her at all, especially when his list consists of all of these distinguished, but pretty far distance wise, schools: University of Tennessee - Knoxville, University of Texas - Austin, RIT, University of Illionis - Urbana-Champaign, Oregon State University. Quite the list!!!
As part of my questionnaire, I ask the kids what their biggest accomplishment is. I thought that the answer that Thomas gave me was very thoughtful so I am going to share it with you. He wrote, "I don't really know. I do a variety of things, video production to basically being a community organizer. After I do anything, like make Knightline's intro or run a lemonade stand class, I feel like I get the same amount of the feelings of accomplishment and satisfaction. This of course meaning like right after achieving the thing, afterwards I can judge it all I want. But in the moment of achievement, every one of my achievements, feels equally great to me. I think it might be the structure of it." Isn't that an amazing answer? Shows such a deep level of thought and introspection, remarkable from anyone but extraordinary coming from a teenager, I think.
Thank you Thomas for sharing a bit of your senior year with me. It was such a pleasure to spend some time with you, your mom and your sister. It has also been great getting to work alongside you with SMAC, you are always so professional and organized. Have a wonderful senior year, enjoy every moment. I hope that you make all of your hopes, both long and short term, come true and that all of the luck, and uncontrollable variables, in life go firmly and consistently your way, both this year and into the future. Take care and thank you again.
How handsome is Andrew? And I am so lucky because he is practically related to me. Well not really, he is the nephew of my sister-in-law, that counts right? Okay I know that it doesn't but I can try, right? Alhough I am not lucky enough to be related to him, I was lucky enough to have had the chance to take his pictures, and spend a wonderful Sunday morning with him and his mom.
What a delight Vendela is! If you happened to read Sarah's blog post, then you may feel like you are prepared for how incredible Vendela is but..... preparing for the awesomeness that is Vendela. might just be impossible. She is the one those kids that is smart, charismatic, accomplished and as you can see, drop dead gorgeous. How do you possibly prepare for that? And by the way, she is really nice too!!
Oh how I love this girl! She was in my CCD class for like 4 years in a row (those were also the same 4 years that I might have asked to not teach my son, but that is a story for another time, ha). Honestly, Sarah is the best, such a great kid! And not only that, beautiful as well, as you can see for yourself. As I look at these pictures, I am trying to think of the last time that I saw Sarah without a smile on her face, thinking, still thinking.... I think that we need to move on, I will let you know if I think of a time.
I had so much fun meeting up with Jacob and his mom. They were so nice and so accommodating. We were originally supposed to meet on Saturday but at the last minute, the weather just wouldn't cooperate. Did they get upset or thrown off? Nope, they just graciously agreed to reschedule for the next day. It didn't seem to faze Jacob in the least, he looked just as handsome and stylish on Sunday as I am sure he did on Saturday. Such a great sport!!
Thanksgiving is the perfect time for traditions which is why I am continuing a tradition that I started back in 2013. I like to take a moment on the day before Thanksgiving to let my seniors and their families know how much I appreciate the fact that they have entrusted me to capture this special time in their lives. This year is a little bittersweet for me because in addition to once again having a senior (that is 3 out of the last 4 years, yes, I am crazy, thanks for asking), my senior is also getting ready to play his last football game. His last one! I have been watching him play football for Stoughton since he was 7 and in 2nd grade with no teeth and after tomorrow it will be over. Not gonna lie, this one is going to be a bit tough especially since you all know how much I love the game of football. And not to mention, his teammates, many of them have played just as long as he has, I am going to miss it, and them, a lot. And this team this year, they have been so much fun to watch. They have showed so much heart and resilience throughout this whole season. Hopefully they will carry this season and their high school careers with them always. Plus I know that they are all going to go on to amazing futures so that will help me tamp down the sorrow and just root like hell for a win tomorrow!! Sorry can't resist a bit of nepotism here, have to throw in a picture or two of my football player, I love you buddy and win or lose tomorrow, I am so proud of you. You have given much such joy over the years, and it makes me so happy to see how much you have grown, inside and out and on and off the field.
As I mentioned in Victoria's post, I am sure that Brian had no problem with my writing her blog first because he is a true gentleman. He is one of the nicest, most polite kids that I know, and as regular readers know, I have dealt with some really nice kids. Well, Brian is right up there with any of them. And not only is he nice but he is also handsome, and well dressed!! Pretty lethal combination, I think!!
Usually when I take pictures for two seniors at once, I apply an alphabetical approach to determining whose blog gets done first. Well in the case of Victoria and her twin brother, Brian, I decided that time-honored ladies before gentlemen would be better. And I am quite sure that if I asked him Brian would have readily agreed because Brian may be one of the nicest and politest seniors that I know, and he really is a true gentleman. But enough about Brian, we can talk about him when it is his turn, we are here to talk about Victoria and how awesome she is. And how pretty. And just in general, how great she is.
What a handsome guy Nick is. And a phenomenal sport. He let me drag him (figuratively, not literally) all over our home town. Actually Nick was one of my favorite shoots this summer because he made me think and stretch my creativity. Nick originally wanted to head into the North End because he loves it there and because he wanted an urban feel. After a bit of discussion, his mom and I decided that between traffic and parking, the North End on a weekday may prove to problematic. After thinking about it for a bit, I asked his mom if they would be willing to shoot around town. They were, and it was epic!