senior pictures

Liz and EmmaSwap DayMy niece, Elizabeth Masterson is a journalism teacher at Kelly Walsh High School in Casper, Wyoming. She also takes all the photos for, and designs the yearbook every year. Her photographs have given her so many opportunities over the years. She now has her own photography buisness and she takes senior pictures, wedding pictures, as well as pregnancy photos and family photos. She catches action photos in sports in such and interesting way. You feel like you are standing right there with her. There is a lot to be said for having a talent that people find out about. Her photography sessions have steadily increased, which is very nice for her.

Liz is a teacher, but she is not your typical teacher. Liz is also a friend to many of her students. She has friends from probably every year she has been a teacher. Her students judt don’t go away after high school. They keep in touch. I have run into a couple of my teachers over the years…even favorite teachers, but they are aquaintances now, not friends that I stay in touch with or do things with. Not so Liz…but then, she is not your typical teacher. Liz participates in things with the students, like swap day, when two of her students decided to come looking like her, and so she came to school dressed like them.

Liz doesn’t mind getting dirty when the situation warrants it either. When the 5K Mud Run event was going on, she got on a team, and got a whole lot dirtier than I ever would have. I suppose it might be fun, but then, I simply can’t imagine being covered with mud, so…maybe not. Nevertheless, Liz had no issue with it, and I think that’s very cool.

Liz is all about family. She is very close to her mom and her siblings. She spends a lot of time with them, and photographs them often. Her pictures have helped me with my stories more than once. As to her own little family, well Liz is mom to four babies…pet babies that is. She has 3 cute little dogs, and a cat who lets everyone else know that she is the boss. The dogs never stood a chance agains the cat…I mean, she has claws, The BabiesDirty Girland she will use them. So they have learned to get along and so has she, but she doesn’t put up with any guff from those dogs. Liz is the typical mom to her babies, even to the point of not wanting them to spend too much time alone, so sometimes, they go to the babysitter’s, ie Grandma’s House. My sister, Cheryl has adapted herself to having mulitple pets, or should I say multiple additional pets, at her house from time to time, because Liz is a big softie when it comes to her pets…whether she admits it or not. Today is Liz’s birthday. Happy birthday Liz!! Have a great day!! We love you!!

10516645_1512233405677739_3895987272059952393_nAs another summer moves into the past, yet another of my grandchildren has had senior pictures taken. This year, we will have only one graduate, instead of two. Nevertheless, as each one graduates, I feel a little sadness. Before my very eyes, my grandchildren are growing up, and moving on with their lives. I want them to be little again. This year’s graduate is my grandson, Caalab Royce. Caalab’s favorite things are his guitar, his truck, and his dogs. That said, he decided to incorporate his guitar and his truck into his senior pictures, and chose the Washington Park Band Shelter as his backdrop. The pictures turned out great.

Caalab isn’t one to spend a lot of time posing for pictures, and would much rather take those spontaneous selfies with his mom, sister, and me. I think maybe he would rather make funny faces that the nicely posed type of shots that senior pictures are. He just doesn’t have the patience for that sort of thing. Still, I think he had a good time in the end…or at least it looked like he had fun. I think I will have a lot of trouble choosing my favorite among the shots Jessica Coleman at Poetic Images Photography took. The pictures are really good, and I think they capture a lot of who Caalab is. And isn’t that what a good photographer does…capture the essence of the person.

When I think of another of my grandchildren being out of high school, I am beyond surprised. It seems impossible that my grandchildren could be so grown up already. Caalab should still be that little boy who began playing with my hair at six months of age, and has never stopped wanting to do that. He should still be that smiley boy, who is full of mischief…oh wait, he is still that smiley boy, who is full of mischief. Maybe not so much has changed after all, and in reality I do have this school year before he actually graduates. And I hope he will always like to come and hang out with his grandma and papa, because we would miss it if he didn’t. Spending time together is of the utmost importance to me, because my family is of the utmost importance. I suppose that is why the changes of having the grandchildren growing up are so hard. When my girls grew up and got married, I hoped and prayed that they would stay in Casper, because I wanted to be a part of their daily lives. Thankfully, so far that has been the 10371890_10203557928782376_7009410770795151123_ncase. Now it is the grandchildren…and I hope they will stay in Casper as well, because I want to be a part of the lives of my great grandchildren too.

Graduations are new beginnings, and the senior picture is the first step toward that new beginning. The end of summer, and the senior pictures always serve as a reminder that life is short, time flies by, and change is inevitable. I just wish I could be the exception to that rule, and that life could always stay the way it is right now…or maybe back just a few years to when I was still the one taking my grandchildren to school each day. It was so nice to see them every day. I felt infinitely blessed…still do, because they are the best.

019editedjpgWith the advent of the railroad in America back in the early 1820’s, came the fascination with trains and the railroad in general. It is a fascination that has never really ended. Even though some of our railroad tracks are now being dismantled, I don’t believe that the railroad will ever really go away. So many things are transported by rail, many of which could not feasibly be transported any other way…coal being one of the biggest industries to which the railroad is vital. My family worked in the lumber industry back in the early 1900’s, and at that time lumber and lumber products were transported by rail. There were no semi-trucks to transport things, so most things were transported to other areas of the country by rail.

Early on there were huge ceremonies to celebrate the railroads entrance into a new town. 027editedPeople just understood how important the railroad was to their way of life. Travel became easier, supplies and mail reached people faster, and the standard of living in the West vastly improved. It was a win win situation for everyone concerned

With all those changes, also came the advent of the railroad photo op. Everyone wanted their picture taken by the tracks, it seems. I have come across several pictures where the railroad tracks are the main focus of the shot. I can understand the fascination, but I was surprised by the number of people who felt the same way I did about them. Pictures weren’t as common back in the early 1900’s, although they were apparently more common than I would have thought. Still, no matter the cost, no matter how frivolous, people wanted pictures with the railroad in them. It was such a novelty, and it was a piece of history. It was their chance to prove that they were there.
Apparently, not much has changed over the decades or even the last century, because it seems to be the latest thing again, to have your picture taken on or beside the railroad tracks. Senior pictures and even family pictures are being taken there by lots of photographers, like my friend, Tammie Williamson of Williamson Creations Photography. Tammie displays railroad photographs on her photography site quite a bit. Like so many other people throughout history, she and many other people today still like the tracks for photographs. It’s just part of our fascination with the railroad, the trains, and the tracks that move them along.

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