Wednesday, November 7, 2018

Five things to let go of your Senior Year - Dallas Area Photographer Lisa McNiel


My mom has a saying, "This is free advice. Take it or leave it."That's how I feel about this blog. I should tell you it's filled with four very pretty girls, some of my senior models, wearing all white boho style. The rest of it is just advice we can all use, whether or not we're in high school. It has nothing to do with these girls, just things I've observed.


Follow me on pinterest here: DallasPhotographer To see more photos from senior photographer Lisa McNiel, click Dallas-Photographer or follow DFW-Senior-Photographer on Facebook or Senior Pictures on Instagram.

1. Walk away from drama.  


Seriously, it may give you an adrenaline rush, a tasty tidbit of gossip, something to text your friends about, but it's exhausting and unnecessary. The sooner you learn to avoid drama, and people who thrive on drama, the sooner you will be able to accomplish your goals, enjoy your family and friends, cease stewing about silly nonsense, and halt the emotional dragons that would love to fire you up and get you on their "side." 



2. Avoid people who steal your joy - fake friends or "frienamies."

According to Heart-support, there are 5 types of fake friends:
1. - the one who talks bad about you behind your back
2. - friends who won't apologize, but rather makes excuses
3. - those who suck the emotional energy out of you
4. - friends who make you feel guilty for not interacting on their terms
5. - people who have to be the center of attention or in control of everyone in the group

We all have moments of weakness in any of these areas, and growing up and hormones and the changing social dynamics of high school don't help, but if you find yourself consistently putting up with, or even being the friend who shows one or more of these traits - check yourself and/or tell your friend you can't handle it, and/or limit how much you'll put up with. Be a good friend without enabling someone else to bully, manipulate, malign, drain, or control you, and please take a minute and see if this might even be a blind spot in your own life.




3. Wave goodbye to artificial expectations...

that you can only be happy if such and such happens, if you get into a certain college or university, if your crush likes you back, if you weigh a certain amount or have reached a grade point average. Goals are important, but they can't be accompanied with a voice in your head that rejects you if you don't check a certain box.

According to PathwaytoHappiness.com, "Studies show that people who are happy are spending time... with people they love, and working on things they are passionate about. The common element is not the things they achieve, or what they are doing. The common element that creates happiness is that they are expressing love in all those instances. They are expressing love to who they are with or for what they are doing."





4.  Relinquish activities that bring no joy or growth.


I'm not talking about cleaning your room, your job, or homework, I'm talking about questioning priorities to make the most of your days, your heart and your mind. But first, count the cost! Everything is a tradeoff. Sometimes you need to power through the pain and frustration, but sometimes it's OK to quit, especially if you are doing so to follow another passion, or just rest a while.



5. Please give up this delusion - if perchance you suffer from it: A belief that you are better or worse than other people because of your grades, political leanings,  friends, abilities, looks, race, coolness, clothes, athleticism, or finances.


If you put into practice what most of us learn so late in life, empathy, the ability to imagine you are in the circumstances of someone else, it will help you to stop judging, and lend them your heart.


If you just read that and thought that someone else needs to do that, but not you, you missed the point.







Monday, October 29, 2018

Senior Pictures in a TV Friends theme - "I'll Be There For You" - by Dallas Photographer Lisa McNiel

I'll Be There for You
So no one told you life was gonna be this way
Your job's a joke, you're broke
Your love life's D.O.A
It's like you're always stuck in second gear
When it hasn't been your day, your week, your month
Or even your year, but
I'll be there for you
(When the rain starts to pour)
I'll be there for you
(Like I've been there before)
I'll be there for you
('Cause you're there for me too)
You're still in bed at ten 
And work began at eight
You've burned your breakfast, so far 
Things are going great
Your mother warned you there'd be days like these
But she didn't tell you when the world has brought 
You down to your knees and
I'll be there for you
(When the rain starts to pour)
I'll be there for you
(Like I've been there before)
I'll be there for you
('Cause you're

Be honest... you sang that!

Five of my Senior Models this year decided on my "Friends" TV show themed shoot. They chose their own outfits and an updated version of the classic 90s black and white outfits Ross Gellar, Rachel Green, Phoebe Buffay, Joey Tribbiani, Chandler Bing, and Monica Gellar wore as the characters we've been quoting for years thanks to reruns! 

Our version of Central Perk where Rachel worked and they gathered was a wonderful spot my husband found in old town Lewisville you have to visit called "The Perc." Then we headed over to my secret location with the perfect fountain for the famous red, blue and yellow umbrellas, couch and lamp for the opening dancing scene we'll always remember.

Applications for 2020 Senior Models will be opening in December of 2018.

Follow me on pinterest here: DallasPhotographer 
To see more photos from senior photographer Lisa McNiel, click Dallas-Photographer or follow DFW-Senior-Photographer on Facebook or Senior Pictures on Instagram.

Claire started out in a darling watermelon pink and green sundress and then changed to a white knit wrap top and black skirt.


Maren Wisener started in a super cute pink and white striped romper with tie front and changed into a black and white diagonal striped top with black jeans.



Grace Cox wore a yellow and white striped off-the-shoulder knit top for the coffee shop shoot and a black sleeveless top with white shorts for the fountain. 


Meaghan Topelsohn rocked black and white for the full shoot. Her white knit top with a "V" detail paired well with dressy black shorts and black pumps.


Kara Pletcher chose a gray and white striped cotton romper for inside and black ripped jeans and a cute white top with a straight neckline for outside.




Saturday, October 13, 2018

7 Tips on How to Raise Your Festival Fashion Game - Dallas Photographer Lisa McNiel



Coachella and other music festivals have become almost more famous for the outfits emerging from them as they are for the bands. In Austin, Texas the ACL Festival has grown to two weekends, 8 stages and over 130 bands. 


I did a Festival Style shoot with five of my Senior Models and I'm including tips on how to turn up your Festival Fashion!  My darling models for this shoot are Ashley Carter, Bentley Camp, Grace Goodwin, Julia O'Connell, and Graycen Bezney!

1. You do you. Your style augmented, taken up a notch. You don't need to copy a look you see on Pinterest or in a magazine. You can take your own look and add elements, colors, accessories to make it your own. Maybe you can imagine how you would have dressed in the 1960s and blend that idea into your own closet.


2. Pick one piece that makes a statement and build your look around it. Maybe it's a lace or patterned kimono, split palazzo pants, or a patchwork jumpsuit that you begin with and then add elements to. 


3. Boho and Rock and Roll are the two looks you tend to see the most, but don't stop there. Add or take away something from what you've seen to make your own statement. This is a fun area of self expression.


4. You can layer on the headpieces, necklaces, and bracelets.


5. Find some fringe! Scarves, kimonos, bags, boots, jackets, fringe is all over and fun to swing around.


6. Footwear - ditch the flip flops. They're great for the beach, but boots and sandals are the way to go -as long as they're comfortable and weather appropriate.


7. Your mom said to tell you to bring a jacket. It gets cold at night!


Applications for 2020 Senior Models will be opening in December of 2018.

Follow me on pinterest here: DallasPhotographer 
To see more photos from senior photographer Lisa McNiel, click Dallas-Photographer or follow DFW-Senior-Photographer on Facebook or Senior Pictures on Instagram.











Wednesday, October 10, 2018

Seniors Model Runway 7 Fashion in Deep Ellum - by Photographer Lisa McNiel



These crazies are in Deep Ellum, a super cool area of Dallas with roots in Jazz.

Deep Ellum was originally Deep Elm for Elm street. It was formed after the Civil War, and established in 1873 East of Downtown Dallas by freedmen, former slaves, as an area to live and have commerce. It's filled with culture, vibrant colors, Art, music, night life, and great restaurants and a great place to visit if you're near Dallas!

Runway 7 Boutique provided Erika, Gabi, Bella, Alexis, Zeni and Emily with stylish outfits to model on our group shoot, and the girls had fun and did a great job showing off the fashion.  These are from last Spring, but Runway 7 is constantly getting new hot outfits in to keep you looking sharp.

After Deep Ellum, we had time to head over to Klyde Warren Park, and took advantage the green space and watched the kids play in the fountains and play with the mirrors and chrome on the stage.



Applications for 2020 Senior Models will be opening in December of 2018.

Follow me on pinterest here: DallasPhotographer 
To see more photos from senior photographer Lisa McNiel, click Dallas-Photographer or follow DFW-Senior-Photographer on Facebook or Senior Pictures on Instagram.

Alexis chose a cold shoulder jumpsuit with thin navy and white stripes and bright flowers scattered all over. I love that the pants tie in at the ankle and the flounce transitions into the sleeves.


Bella's jumpsuit has wide legs with slits up the side which is a super cute surprise  when she walks and sits, but still remains modest with built in shorts. It's great with her coloring and a floppy hat.


Emily's blond hair and tan are set off by a yellow romper with pink and white flowers and a ruffled edge on the shorts.


Erika's coloring was set off by the warm colors in the flowers in her two-piece Palazzo and Crop set. It's a comfy and cute way to hit the town, especially with a straw hat.


Gabi modeled a cream romper with tiny covered buttons down the front. The rust bralette she chose and paired with matching earrings and a black floppy hat make for a bold, simple look that's a classic.


Zeni is modeling something I would have chosen. I love red, and especially this romper scattered with white flowers, chunky heels, statement earrings and cool sunnies.



Saturday, September 22, 2018

Argyle High School Senior Pictures - by Photographer Lisa McNiel


Sarah's fun, confident, bubbly personality made her senior session fun for me, despite the Texas Summer heat. She was involved in competitive traveling volleyball for years, but she's enjoying her senior year at Argyle High School as Choir President and hanging out with friends.

That auburn hair is such a showstopper that when she was a little girl, she thought you were supposed to greet strangers with, "Your hair is so pretty today" because that is how strangers had greeted her!

Follow me on pinterest here: DallasPhotographer 
To see more photos from senior photographer Lisa McNiel, click Dallas-Photographer or follow DFW-Senior-Photographer on Facebook or Senior Pictures on Instagram.



Sunday, September 9, 2018

Fall Photoshoot for Senior Pictures by Dallas Photographer Lisa McNiel



Grace McMaster

Mom's perspective:
I'm a lucky mom, because Grace is my best friend, and she would say I'm hers, too! Grace is the type of person who lights up a room with her sparkling personality and beautiful smile. She's a caring, loyal friend, a loving daughter, and someone who's a lot of fun to be around. She loves Broadway musicals, Walt Disney World and anything Disney, and her pet rabbit, Phillip. She's sweet, smart, funny and quirky.


Grace's favorite personality trait is her sense of humor, and her favorite activities are Drill Team, Country Western Dance Team, being in the school musical and Piano.

Her Favorite quote is, 
"When you believe in a thing, believe in it all the way, implicitly and unquestionable."
-Walt Disney and her favorite memory is performing on the football field at halftime with her drill team.

Follow me on pinterest here: DallasPhotographer 
To see more photos from senior photographer Lisa McNiel, click Dallas-Photographer or follow DFW-Senior-Photographer on Facebook or Senior Pictures on Instagram.









Tuesday, September 4, 2018

TCU gains another Flower Mound Scholar - Senior Pictures by Lisa McNiel



"Sometimes, you gotta kidnap an animatronic badger to stay in this crazy game called life." Grunkle Stan, Gravity Falls. This is Bridey's favorite quote! Haha, I love a kid with a sense of humor, but I don't watch Gravity Falls, so I'm clueless as to what it means.

Flower Mound High School graduate Bridey Brown is at Texas Christian University now, no doubt enjoying the beautiful flowers and beginning of football season!

In high school she was in National Honor Society in Science, Math, English, and Latin, played Tennis and did Art. In her free time she likes to play video games, read, or watch TV.

Her favorite songs are  High Hopes by Panic! At the Disco, and 2002 by Anne-Marie, and her favorite memory was going to New York with her Girl Scout Troop.




Bridey is a beautiful and kind and intelligent young lady. She is self-motivated and serious about her academics. She has always been sweet and loves spending time with her family, 2 beagles, skiing, going to the beach, tennis and video games. She is graduating in the top 3 % o her class with honors and plans to study biology and journalism. She is also artistic and creative and has a unique talent for being able to imitate voices from television, movies and songs. She taught herself how to play a keyboard and ukulele and created a puppy song when she was 10 and really wanted a dog ... hence the 2 beagles. She and her brother are very close and support each other in everything they do. She once won a Mario Cart video gaming tournament and won a Bowser Trophy which no one believes.


Before her photo session, Bridey's mom and I had a phone consultation and went through my blog together choosing locations and poses to best express her daughter's personality and essence. We went over clothing choices as well, which helped us both prepare for her session.

Follow me on pinterest here: DallasPhotographer 
To see more photos from senior photographer Lisa McNiel, click Dallas-Photographer or follow DFW-Senior-Photographer on Facebook or Senior Pictures on Instagram.