High School Senior Portraits – Emily O’Brien Photography

Julia pose 1 high school senior portraits

If you have a rising high school senior, now is the time to be thinking about high school senior portraits.

In North Andover, a little controversy has arisen over this topic. The high school has mandated that yearbook photos be taken by a school sanctioned photographer. This has many parents up in arms and, truthfully, I’m not thrilled either. But the yearbook is just one thing. I’ve known the photographer I want to take Julia’s high school senior portraits for years. I’m thrilled to have Emily O’Brien capture this moment in time for Julia.

Emily O’Brien Photography

I feel so lucky to know Emily O’Brien of Emily O’Brien Photography. Not only is she talented, but I knew she’d be the perfect person to make Julia feel comfortable and fully engaged in her photo session.

What I love about Emily is that she’s young, with a current sense of style. Hailing from Boston’s South End she brings a sophistication and coolness to her high school senior portraits that I simply adore.

Emily O’Brien

Whether your senior wants portraits on the beach, in a garden, or among the fall leaves, Emily creates a personalized and memorable experience.

Check out all of Emily’s options here, including Bestie Sessions!

Julia’s High School Senior Portraits

Julia wanted her photos to reflect how she’s see her future and that’s in the heart of a big city. She and Emily (and Julia’s good friend Sophie) met at a charismatic location in Boston. Julia loved the opportunity to express her individuality while collaborating with Emily on looks, locations and poses.

“Working with Emily changed my experience having photos taken,” says Julia. “She made me feel so comfortable and at ease while posing in a busy public setting, when normally I’d fear embarrassment or judgement. Not only did Emily help set up poses, but her fun persona kept me laughing and looking natural throughout the experience. I’d absolutely recommend Emily to anyone looking to have photos done. It’s completely worth it to be comfortable and happy with the end product.”

Here’s just one more from Julia’s session. Her sweet smile says it all!

Julia high school senior portraits pose 2
That smile is so genuine!

Also, check out another gorgeous senior session as shown on Emily’s blog.

Senior Representative Team

As part of Emily’s senior rep team, Julia was lucky enough to join six other soon to be high school seniors for a fabulous group photo shoot. This unique program brings this team together for a true modeling experience complete with hair, makeup, art direction and more. Any one of these beautiful ladies can tell you just how amazing it is to work with Emily. Contact Emily to find out more about this opportunity for the senior class of 2020. This is a great example of how Emily goes above and beyond when it comes to senior portraits.

Phone: 508.667.3520
Studio Address: 60 Island Street, 3rd Floor, Lawrence, MA
Mailing Address: 725 Harrison Avenue E201, Boston, MA 02118
EmailEmily@emilyobrienphoto.com

 

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Where a Kitchen Television Used to be & Local Author Night

The featured photo shows a little spot on my kitchen counter where, formerly, sat a little TV. I’d watch that kitchen television in the mornings when I got the girls off to school or I’d have it playing in the background while I cooked a meal. I liked the distraction and, if you know me, you know I’m a TV junkie, so I take it whenever I can get it.

My kitchen television was rendered defunct when the cable box was moved to another TV location in the house. We have way too many TVs for one small family. When the change was made, I was fine with it and still am. Admittedly, I miss my kitchen television at times, but I’ve gained something much greater in its absence – peace of mind!

The vast majority of my kitchen television viewing was the local news. While I can honestly say that I hate watching the news even while watching it, I find myself constantly drawn to it. For the most part I want a quick check of the weather. Yet, the next thing I know, I’m sucked into all of the unbearable news stories that clutter the airwaves.

It would be one thing if I heard the nasty news of the day once but, as we all know, local news is on repeat for multiple hours of the day. The redundancy of such tragic stories is enough to leave even the most steady-minded person uneasy. For me, and my anxious ways, it’s just too much. The more I watch, the more cynical I become.

Now, without my kitchen television, I find I get what news I need online. I read it once and walk away. While I do feel a bit out of touch, I’m more serene. Not starting my days with negativity has left a lot of room for positivity and I’ll take all the positivity I can get.

Tonight – Let’s Talk Travel!

Please Join Me at Local Author Night At Steven’s Estate! I’d love to see you!

 

Musing Mediterranean – Purchase Now!

 

Available at Amazon! 

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Dogs in Need at Sweet Paws Rescue – Cuteness Overload!

dogs in need from Sweet Paws Rescue
Credit: Emily O’Brien Photography

If you know me, you know I love dogs. I adopted Oscar when he was seven years old. I truly believe that rescuing, fostering and adopting dogs is a gift. Not only for the dog, but for the adopter as well.

When my friend, and photographer extraordinaire, Emily O’Brien reached out to her team of senior portrait representatives, of which my Julia is a part, to help on a volunteer mission at Sweet Paws Rescue, Julia jumped at the chance. She has always wanted to help dogs in need but, as life goes, we’d never gotten around to setting something up.

Dogs in Need

Emily brought the call to Julia’s attention and off she went to spend a day she describes as “so awesome and a really positive experience.”

Julia and several other high school seniors arrived at Sweet Paws Rescue to assist Emily and her husband Nick. Together they photographed a sweet slew of puppies who had arrived in from Mississippi, Alabama or Massachusetts.

dogs in need at Sweet Paws Rescue
I just can’t! They are adorable!!!! Credit: Emily O”Brien Photography

While the experience for Julia was a great one, the extreme need at Sweet Paws Rescue for foster providers and volunteers is even greater. If you have ever considered helping dogs in need, check out the links below to learn how you can get involved.

Learn more about Sweet Paws Rescue HERE!

Volunteer

Sign up to volunteer HERE!

Foster 2 Adopt

Apply to adopt or foster to adopt HERE!

Meet & Greet this Sunday

Want to learn more? Join the folks of Sweet Paws Rescue for a Pups, Plants & Putts Meet & Greet at Nunan Florist Greenhouse & Mini-Golf on Sunday July 22 from 10-12:30. More detail HERE!

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Little Fires Everywhere by Celeste Ng – Book Club

Little Fires Everywhere by Celeste NG

Book club met recently to talk about Little Fires Everywhere by Celeste Ng. We liked it, but thought the ending was a bit weak.

Little Fires Everywhere by Celeste Ng

Synopsis (an excerpt from Goodreads)

In Shaker Heights, a placid, progressive suburb of Cleveland, everything is meticulously planned – from the layout of the winding roads, to the colours of the houses, to the successful lives its residents will go on to lead. And no one embodies this spirit more than Elena Richardson, whose guiding principle is playing by the rules.

Enter Mia Warren – an enigmatic artist and single mother – who arrives in this idyllic bubble with her teenage daughter Pearl, and rents a house from the Richardsons. Soon Mia and Pearl become more than just tenants: all four Richardson children are drawn to the alluring mother-daughter pair. But Mia carries with her a mysterious past, and a disregard for the rules that threatens to upend this carefully ordered community.

Review

Ng’s writing is deft and developed. It was intriguing to learn that the story is set in a real place with real rules and restrictions. Ng painted a clear picture of what a structured community, such as Shaker Heights, would be like.

We appreciated the insight into the teen relationships and friendships of the Richardson children and Pearl Warren. Their experiences were familiar and relatable.

Above and beyond anything else Ng’s character development was exceptional. It was easy to visualize and  connect with the characters through her strong and well thought out descriptions. I knew Ng had done an incredible job when, after reading the book, I could name every character.

Although, for me, the book was slow to start, I was really into it in the end.

The Ending

Little Fires Everywhere left a lot of unanswered questions, however there is good opportunity for a sequel. I’d love to know what becomes of the characters after Shaker Heights.

Next Up

Americanah by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie.

 

NOW AVAILABLE ON AMAZON-order my debut travel book Musing Mediterranean today!

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Caring for an Older Dog-5 Years with Oscar

I haven’t posted about my sweet boy lately and last Thursday marked our five-year anniversary with Oscar. He is now twelve years old. If you don’t already know, we rescued Oscar when he was seven, which is already considered a senior dog.

We knew the risks of adopting and caring for an older dog, but despite some problems we have no regrets.

While Oscar did develop diabetes, not long after we got him, all has been going pretty well. His diabetes is under control and he continues to be the little light in our lives.

But caring for an older dog has its undeniable struggles. Oscar has always been stubborn. I would expect nothing less from a Schnauzer, but with every passing day his demands become more and more exhausting. It’s become his way or the highway – that’s it.

Beans

Sure we spoil him, but he’s a good old dog. We all find it hard to be tough on him when all he really wants is a few extra beans. Yes, I said beans. Oscar’s favorite treats are frozen green beans. We’ve reached a point where he is looking for them 24-7. It began when we didn’t have a fenced in area and I wanted to reward him for not wondering off. Somehow this has developed into a treat for any form of movement either on his part or mine – all day long! I could deny him or scold him for his constant pestering, but they’re just green beans, so nine times out of ten he gets one.

Aches and Pains

Other notable changes that make caring for an older dog challenging are Oscar’s obvious aches and pains. He has no interest in walking and his hind legs appear a bit wobbly. Don’t get me wrong, he will run full speed to a meal, but otherwise he’s in slow motion. I think his lack of exercise makes him irritable, but for every walk I attempt to take him on he reverses direction to head for home.

Tinkle Time

His bathroom needs have, not surprisingly, changed too. He needs to go out much more frequently. If he barks to go out, someone better move quickly because now when he has to go, it’s almost always urgent. We learned that the hard way.

Hurry Up and Wait

Forgetfulness and slowness come with caring for an older dog too. Often when I let him out he seems to forget what he’s doing out there. It’s up to me to be patient and ensure that he does what he set out to do. This is not always accomplished the first time out and if ever I’m in a rush, his pace is bound to be excruciatingly slow.

Senses

I have concluded that some of Oscar’s reluctance to be outside stems from vision and hearing loss. He’s not totally deaf or blind, but it’s clear that these functions are compromised. I often think he feels vulnerable outdoors, thus his mad rush to get back in. And, of course, more beans.

Nighty Night

The funniest thing I’ve encountered with Oscar as he ages is his desire to go to bed early. I get it, I like to go to bed early too, but he’s looking for me to accompany him at 7pm. He won’t settle down in his little bed until he sees me lying down in mine. And he wants his bed upstairs. Not a chair or a couch or a cozy piece of rug, just his bed where he can sleep uninterrupted until morning. It’s sweet really, but a bit ridiculous in the throes of summer.

Thankfully, Oscar’s issues with aging are minor and he continues to bring us so much joy despite the extra work involved in caring for an older dog.

“Age is an issue of mind over matter. If you don’t mind, it doesn’t matter.” Mark Twain.

When it comes to Oscar, I definitely don’t mind 😀

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