Featuring Troian Bellisario (Pretty Little Liars) & Jennifer Beals (Flashdance)
This is a web series with short episodes. Season 1 is just 3 webisodes long. I am hooked! CAUTION: The subject matter is for mature audiences. It’s very powerful!
This is a web series with short episodes. Season 1 is just 3 webisodes long. I am hooked! CAUTION: The subject matter is for mature audiences. It’s very powerful!
When I saw this Huffington Post story posted on Facebook this morning by Chris Parente, shared from the Colorado Everyday Show page, it struck a nerve … a BIG nerve. I have my topic for today’s blog post! Writing comes easily when it’s something you’re passionate about, and I am passionate about the value of photographs!
This sparked comments that were mostly bent in the same direction. Some said they took their own photos in their backyards. Some had friends, aunts, and even a high school photography student take their senior photos (note: no one shared copies of these photos). Someone said they’d rather go to Sears. I guess they didn’t hear that Sears closed their portrait studios. One person said that for $1200, you can buy an amazing DSLR [camera] and take your own photos. OK! Because that’s all it takes to make a great photo. Pffft! Here was my immediate comment when I saw this post:
But it’s OK to spend hundreds on an iPhone (probably more than twice with newer models constantly coming out), thousands on Apple computers, who knows how much on designer clothes and shoes? Future generations will consider photographs priceless treasures. Sure, snapshots will also be treasured, but splurging a LITTLE on professional portraits (be they senior photos, family portraits, or just because) not only gives you amazing quality but, if you find the right photographer, you also have a great time in the process! I can tell which senior photos in a yearbook were done by professionals and which were DIY. Buying a “fancy” DSLR camera is not all it takes to get fabulous photos. If you don’t learn and fully understand all that camera can do and just shoot in “P” mode, you’re not going to get photos that look any better than a pocket digital camera. True story! I think the price is overboard in this particular story. There are many photographers who do NOT charge that much (myself included). I believe everyone deserves great photos without breaking the bank. What I don’t understand are the professionals who make everyone look plastic. Now there’s a whole other story.
Then I tuned in and watched the segment on the show and came back to post this additional comment:
I just watched the segment and think you guys spun a pretty one-sided twist. But I guess that’s just how media works. What can ya do? Senior portraits, in many cases, are more for the parents than the teenager. So it’s not about spoiling a child in most cases. It’s one more thing to make senior year special. It doesn’t have to be that expensive. You read Maritza’s comment in favor of hiring a professional photographer but then added a comment about looking back on it and hating it hears from now. If it was done professionally, chances are pretty high you are not going to be embarrassed by the photos years from now. It’s the backyard snapshots done in harsh high noon sunlight that you’ll be embarrassed about.
The $1200 mentioned by the Huffington Post is apparently a national average. I can see that. There are very wealthy parts of the country that probably spend twice that on senior portraits, and there are areas who spend a fraction of that. The average amount spent on senior photos around us is probably closer to $300 or so.
Special photos for senior year is not a new concept. I went to a studio to have mine done nearly 30 years ago. I have no idea how much they cost, but I’m sure they were more than having the photographer hired by the school do them. It wasn’t a vanity issue then at all. That’s exactly the spin they were trying to put on it in this report. Vanity and being spoiled. There is a certain amount of vanity these days with all the social media networks. However, these photos are used in graduation announcements as well, and they represent a time in a teen’s life where they are transitioning from childhood to adulthood. Some are leaving the nest to go off to universities. Some are staying home to attend local universities, colleges, and trade/technical schools. Some are entering full-time jobs immediately. A few are getting married and moving out (or not moving out).
Senior portraits commemorate a rite of passage. That’s a priceless thing!
Shameless plug time! I’d be remiss if I didn’t promote my own photography here. I offer senior portrait photography as well as family and individual portraits and smaller weddings. See my website and my photography blog!
Mention Heaven Fest to someone who doesn’t know anything about it, and they seem to draw their own conclusions – much like their reaction at the mention of the “C” word (church) or the “J” word (Jesus). Why do so many people thing all Christians are crazed holy rollers? Do you even know me?
So this was my first Heaven Fest this weekend, and I really enjoyed it! It was hot and windy, and super fine dirt was blowing everywhere, but it was still a great time! Info on the site said not to bring professional type cameras, so I left mine at home. I didn’t want to carry the extra weight around that long in the heat anyway. It also said not to bring chairs taller than 12″ off the ground (stadium and low beach chairs were OK), but so many people had their regular folding camp chairs there! Now that’s one rule I would have liked to have broken as well. Logging a mental note for next time.
We made it there in time to start our day listening to Read You & Me. I work with two of the band wives! This band tours with Heaven is For Real Ministries around the world and were recently in Singapore.
This was Aaron Shust performing (photo below), and you can see the two main stages in the background. It looks dreadfully cloudy here, but most of this is due to the dust in the air. Some clouds did cover the sun, but it never rained!
Trace Bundy was cool. We actually got a spot under a small tree with some shade. I spread out a beach towel and put my bag behind my head to relax and enjoy his music.
As soon as we got home, we had to shower. That’s how bad it was. I’m sure I ate some dirt, and I know my lungs have never had this much dirt in them. It took a couple hours of coughing Sunday morning to clear them out!
There are labels for kids in high school. You can start to see the formation in elementary school, and they continue to take shape in middle school. Definitely, by high school, they are usually pretty clear.
I still don’t know what label I wore. I think (and others will probably have different opinions) I was pretty generic. I didn’t hang out with any one type of person. While I wasn’t close friends with people in any specific clique, I did get along with all types of people – still do.
The character, Brian Johnson, from The Breakfast Club said it best:
Saturday, March 24, 1984. Shermer High School, Shermer, Illinois. 60062.Dear Mr. Vernon, we accept the fact that we had to sacrifice a whole Saturday in detention for whatever it was that we did wrong…and what we did was wrong, but we think you’re crazy to make us write this essay telling you who we think we are. What do you care? You see us as you want to see us… in the simplest terms and the most convenient definitions. You see us as a brain, an athlete, a basket case, a princess, and a criminal. Correct? That’s the way we saw each other at seven o’clock this morning. We were brainwashed.
(That date was my 17th birthday, by the way!)
As we get older, we don’t so much use the labels we used in high school. However, the labels are still there. We see one another in terms of “types”. We are working parents, stay-at-home parents, executives, multitaskers/over-achievers, even hermits. Deep down, we’re still brains, athletes, basket cases, princesses, and criminals. Some of us learn to coexist and get along. Some still can’t (won’t?) associate with anyone other than the same “type” as themselves under any circumstances. I’m still the one who will associate with any “type”. I’m sort of a chameleon that way.
What type are you? What type were you in high school?
Albeit a short weekend, it’s still a day off! As of this moment, I have 37.5 hours left before I have to clock in again. About 14 of those hours will be spent sleeping. How much can I do in 23 hours? For starters: this blog post!
There are so many things I need to get done. One might think that just because you have time off work, you must spend all of that time doing personal things that need to get done. I protest! I think it’s important to spend at least half of your time off doing things you enjoy doing as well. I enjoy
being lazy resting. I just worked 11 days in a row, including 50 hours in the past six days. I think some rest is not only well-deserved but downright necessary!
I have a couple of movies I bought for $1.99 each at a nearby Blockbuster that’s closing. I plan on watching at least one of those. I also must give my seriously neglected camera a workout. I long to create a new piece of jewelry, too. However, you can’t force creativity to happen in a small window of time. So that may not happen … unless I watch movies at the same time. I do enjoy multitasking!
The main things I need to do are office related (including taxes). After working so much, personal office work is the last thing I want to do, though.
Nope! Twenty-three hours is just not enough time! Once a new manager is in place and the new staff is put on the weekend schedule, I think I might press for a full 4×10 work schedule so I can have my Sundays back. Having a full two days off in a row is more important to one’s mental well-being than I realized.
Vive le weekend!
…just after noon Mountain Time today. Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2 made me cry (3 tissues worth), complete with ugly cry face. Make fun of me all you want; I refuse to feel any shame in that. Movies that I consider to be good do have a profound affect on me, and there’s nothing wrong with allowing yourself to feel that emotion. The slightly underwhelming ending had me, and it felt like many others, leaving the theater in a somber mood. It’s over.
I think the epilogue was added to give us closure – life does go on, but it also leaves us wanting the story to continue. I wanted to see a cleaned-up and rebuilt Hogwarts. No such luck. I want to know who the Headmaster is 19 years later. I want to know what became of certain other characters that weren’t shown in the epilogue. Was that a circle of life that is now somehow going to repeat itself?
Rowling could have written endlessly, and I don’t think we would ever be completely satisfied. This is why I’m curious about a new experience in the works: Pottermore. It seems like it will encourage a whole new generation to buy and read the complete series. I hope kids do keep reading and not just rely on the movies. Reading brings a whole different experience as each reader imagines the wizarding world and all its characters in their own unique ways.
For now, we’re left to mourn the end of a magically imaginative era while we wait for this final movie’s release on DVD.
In the states, we call it “vacation”. In the UK, they call it “holiday”. Why does it feel like neither when you just stay home? It’s merely time off. The silly term “staycation” doesn’t even seem to fit. How about a “relaxcation”? Now that I could go for! An entire week (or at least half of it) to loaf around and be lazy. I’m not sure how much of that I’ll be doing, either. I need to use this time to catch up on things that I haven’t been able to do around the house. Take time off of work to work. Hmmm.
My official time off this week started with rain. Yesterday morning I did a little map searching for possible photo locations. There are so many parks tucked away that you couldn’t possibly spot them by simply driving around. I picked out two parks to check out, and we only managed to see one of them: Cherry Creek Ecological Park. Of course, as soon as we parked and got out of the car, it started raining. So we sat in the car and waited a few minutes for it to stop. Then we made it as far as a gazebo about 100 yards away before it started raining again … harder. Since I was in no hurry for anything, I thought it was nice to just sit there listening to the rain hit the roof and enjoy the breeze. Miranda, on the other hand, thought it was boring. Kids.
Once the rain stopped again, we strolled around some of the trail in this park. Part of the trail was a boardwalk, which could make for some interesting photos. There’s also a bridge over Cherry Creek, but I’m not that thrilled with it as a photo op. Being an ecological park, we’re supposed to stay on the path. So photo options are pretty limited here, except for this boardwalk.
Simple … money. I’m not airing dirty laundry here. I’m just telling it like it is. We are trying to do something now that we should have put into strict practice years ago. We’re not using credit cards for anything and are working towards being credit card debt free by (if not before) November 2015. To expand on this would take an entire post itself. It started when this major life change negatively impacted our income. I immediately started doing things like this to stop unnecessary spending. More opportunities to work overtime opened up along the way, and we got a little stupid again. That has to change. We have to stick to the budget!
We had tentative plans to drive to St. Louis and visit family during this time off (aka: vacation), but a semi-unexpected car expense (followed by this) happened that cost about double what our fuel expense would have been for a road trip to and from St. Louis. Not only that, but we decided that some home improvements should take a higher priority once and for all. When I sit back and look at the bigger picture, it’s easy to see that this situation is quite common. When someone moves out of state, it’s usually the one who moved who is expected to travel back for visits. Interesting. The highway runs both ways, and we would love for more people to come visit us.
It’s also important to note here that Greg was not able to take time off since he hasn’t been at his job for a full year yet. So he wouldn’t have been able to go with us anyway. We used quite a chunk of “vacation change” to go to the Colorado Renaissance Festival on Saturday. Only the girls went along because Jason had to work and Josh didn’t want to go. Even with saving $3 per ticket buying them at King Soopers, the total for four tickets was nearly $70. Add to that the expenses for food, drink, and trinkets while at the festival. Suffice it to say that this ate a considerable amount of money. I will say that the $4 spent to ride an elephant for all of about 4 minutes (including time sitting still waiting for the other riders to pay and get on the elephant) was definitely worth it! This could, and quite possibly will be, another post entirely.
Ali had to work Sunday and Monday at the pool, but they closed early both days due to the weather. Today still holds a threat of rain, which is only a slightly higher threat than tomorrow holds. So our plan is to see how much we can do for very little cost (while staying dry). I took out a certain amount of cash for the remainder of the week so we can easily see how much we have to play with. I’m tossing around the idea of a zoo day, complete with picnic lunch, but I’d be just as happy taking that picnic lunch to a reservoir (Colorado’s idea of a lake with a purpose) where I can relax with a book.
In other words, I have no plan at this point. That is actually worse, to me, than having a plan. That usually results in doing much of nothing, which results in disappointment over wasting an entire vacation. On the other hand, planning too much ends up overwhelming me and makes the week pass by way too fast. How do I find a happy medium?
I knew it would happen. I guess there are some strong country (and young) voters out there, though. I also heard there were some people who didn’t care for Haley’s attitude. I don’t see anything wrong with her attitude. She was bold enough to stick up for herself one week. I used to get squashed if I tried to talk back when I was young and thought I didn’t have the right to do so. I know better now and am making up for lost time. So I applaud anyone who speaks their mind (within reason, of course). Hopefully, we will be hearing Haley on the radio by next summer – if not sooner! I will definitely buy her music!
Watch Haley’s final song and explain what’s bad about her attitude here. I think she handled herself with class last night.
Thank you AmericazGotTalents for providing high quality videos so quickly!