senior year

Emma, a Class of 2018 Covenant High School Senior, Tacoma Senior Photographer, Tacoma, WA

Emma, gorgeous Emma!   

What a joy it was to get to know her. 

Emma is a Running Start student, which means she is attending high school and working toward her AA degree, while also finishing up high school, as a kick start to college.   She aspires to be a esthetician and is on track to have her full license by her 18th birthday!  How is that for knowing what you want and going after it?!

She is also a retired state swimmer, who has a strong love for cats, of which two that she owns, she loves the most.   She is a hard worker, determined, passionate and works not one, but two jobs, one as a Lifeguard and one at everyone's favorite ice cream spot, Dairy Queen. 

If she had $500 to blow at any store, she would be on her way to Pac Sun. 

We had so much fun getting to know Emma, and darting around Tacoma, getting her to sneak smiles in between pictures!

Emma, thank you for giving us the opportunity to showcase your senior year!

Meet Mackenzie - Class of 2018 Sumner High School Senior, Tacoma, WA

Meet Mackenzie, a 2018 Sumner High School senior and our very first senior of 2018!

Mackenzie is a doll and the little sister of a former Ike and Tash senior!  We were so thrilled and honored when she called and so super excited to open our senior season with her session.

A cheerleader, Nordstrom Fashion Ambassador,  ASB Coordinator and a member of the National Honor's Society, Mackenzie has brains and beauty!  She literally has it ALL.

Three words to describe this energetic senior are edgy, fun and classic.   Currently playing on her ipod are the likes of Fleetwood Mac, Luke Bryan and The Weekend.

Mackenzie hopes to double major in Law and Psychology or Business and Psychology, once away at college and in her spare time she LOVES to travel!

Mackenzie, you are such a doll.  So kind and beautiful.  We had so much fun getting to know you better while the golden sun hit our faces.  Thank you for dancing through the streets of Tacoma with us and we are so excited to watch your senior year unfold!

Winter Break: Gold Creek Pond, Snoqualmie, WA

Ended 2016 right with these cuties!

For no reason at all, except to connect and spend time together - we planned a Christmas break trip to Leavenworth.  After weeks of planning and connecting on ideas and concepts for a fun day east, we woke up to every road leading to our destination, blocked and no real plan B.

Instead of cancelling, instead of freaking out, we paused, connected as a group, came up with a plan and started again.

We headed out to breakfast, got on the road and drove east until we found some snow and once we got there - magic happened.

So many unexpected things happened on our leisurely road trip to the snow that we didn't plan for, but these girls taught me so much about their ability to trust a plan they aren't clued in on, how to take it in stride and to live in the moment.

That last road trip of 2016 taught me my biggest lessons of the year.

1.  Things don't always go as planned and sometimes that is the sweetest thing ever.   Unexpected changes challenge us to think differently about our circumstances and in some cases forces us to perform better than we would have if the plan had worked.

2.  The moment is all that really matters.   Although these girls were excited about our original destination, it wouldn't have mattered if we stayed in the backyard.  They just wanted to be together and be present with one another.  Sometimes pomp and circumstance isn't the point, but simply being together is the reward. 

3. Relax.  The latter part of the year, unfortunately, shingles brought me down.  It was the most painful 3 weeks I have experienced in a long time.  Had I relaxed a little more, I would have likely not experienced the pain that comes with stress -- but while relaxing to heal, the best ideas came to mind - like how to trouble shoot this trip that went south when the roads were closed.  When we are relaxed, we are clear minded and problems don't feel like the mountains that they can appear to be when we are stressed.

We froze.  Our makeup ran. We laughed.  We couldn't feel our limbs by the end of the day.  I fell down 27k times, but we had the best of times and this will be a trip that the girls, Ike and I will always remember and smile sweetly about!

Happy New Year!  May 2017 be full of redirected plans that make the best memories!

P.S.  and shout out to these cuties who will walk across their high school stages in 6 short months!  Senior year is so sweet!  What a time to be alive!

Guest Blog: 10 Tips to Master Your Senior Year, Olivia Louise, a Class of 2016 Tahoma High School Alumni {Tacoma Senior Portrait Photographer, Tacoma, WA}

10 Tips to Master Your Senior Year

By Olivia Louise

In honour of the school year starting (if it hasn't already) I decided to give you "10 Tips to Senior Year."  So I took it upon myself to chat with a few of my lovely friends and here is what we collectively came up together;

1. Go to every event possible: During my Sophomore/Junior year I hardly attended any events that weren't required. I tried to get out of every assembly possible and wasn't a fan of being spirited. But when Senior year hit that all changed. I went to every football game, home or away, and went to as many lacrosse games, soccer games, and basketball games as I could. Assemblies weren't as bad because I chose to have a better attitude about it, yes they were just about the same every time but it was the only time our entire school and class were together at once. Don't miss out on games, plays, assemblies, etc. just because you feel "too cool". The attitude you put in, is what you get out.

2. Do your work: I was/am a big time procrastinator. Unfortunately, I have become one of those people who writes better at 11:30 at night and only a limited about of time. 10/10 would not recommend becoming that person.  I have gotten slightly better, but when you get homework, do it then and there. Waiting until the last minute will just give you unnecessary stress that you don't need. Not to mention, the quicker you get it done the more free time you have to binge watch Criminal Minds or Game of Thrones like I do (;

3. Focus on YOUR future: Take time to figure out what you want to do after high school. Whether it be taking a gap year, going straight into the workforce, or getting secondary education, make sure it is what YOU want to do and that YOU are happy/comfortable with your decision. Don't worry about what everyone else is doing and do what is best for you. Senior year is the year you get to focus on who you will become and preparing yourself for your future.

4. Participate in Spirit Days: You are NEVER too cool to dress up in school/class colours, or to wear all neon, or whatever it may be. I rarely dressed up in all of the spirit days because I wasn't at school as long as everyone else (thank goodness for only having two classes a day), but when I did dress up for them I tried my hardest to go all out. It's 10x more fun with friends if you coordinate and they make for cute pictures!   

5. Take loads of pictures: I can't stress this point enough. I used to not be a big fan of taking pictures with friends because I was too embarrassed to ask (who knows why), but senior year came and I have never taken so many photos in my entire life. I have an entire wall in my room that is covered in pictures of me and my friends and it makes my heart warm every time I look at it. Although people change, memories don't and pictures capture that memory forever, so in the future you can tell your kids about your high schools days (;

6. Don't be afraid to let go: People will walk in and out of your life. Some stay for longer than others and that is okay. Senior year will really change your perspective on friendships and although it hurts to loose connections you may have had for years, some people are only meant to be apart of your life for a season or two. This is more likely to take place after you graduate but it's good to prepare yourself now rather than later. Friends go off to college and you loose touch but that's okay. Root for them and wish them nothing but success and happiness. 

7. Time flies: I'm sure this isn't the first time you'e heard this and it definitely won't be the last. You never actually believe anyone until it happens to you. Cherish every moment you have with friends and family. Take a step back when you're all together (holidays, BBQ's, get-togethers, etc.) and just watch the way everyone smiles and laughs and how their eyes light up when they talk about something they love or find deep interest in. It's a cool thing to witness.

8. Let your parents be obnoxious: This is especially true if you are the oldest child and they are going through this journey for the first time. They have no idea what to expect and are just as nervous and excited as you are. Their little boy or girl has grown up and is about to take on the world, they're going to be emotional. My mom wanted to take a thousand pictures over the littlest things because they were my "lasts" and it drove me insane. But remember to have patience with them, let them in on your plans in life and let them help you. 

9. Don't worry if ____ doesn't like you back: As someone who has never had a boyfriend I felt like it was part of the high school experience to have that boy for all of high school. Clearly I watched way too many movies and Troy Bolton set my expectations extremely high. No boy is going to break out in a full choreographed dance and sing beautifully (and if he does then wow, you found a gem). Don't worry about trying to find your "one true love" because after you graduate are you ever going to see each other? Probably not. Spend time building friendships and investing in yourself, making sure you are happy being by yourself. Learn to love yourself with or without a significant other. 

10. Have fun!: You are in your final year of high school! Take a break from doing homework on the weekend and spend it doing something fun. Go be adventurous and create stories and memories that you will actually remember when you're 20 years in the future. You aren't going to remember the thesis for one of your English papers, but you will remember that one time you ran around a city you barely knew, taking pictures with friends for a scavenger hunt, while it rained harder than you have ever seen. Maintain your grades but don't let it consume you. Say yes to invites instead of saying no. It's your last year of school and what you put in is what you will get out.  

Olivia is a recent high school grad, Ike and Tash Street Team Alumni headed to Central Washington University to study fashion.  She is also author of an incredible fashion blog titled Olivia Louise.  To follow her or keep in touch check her out at the following places online:

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