when the sun and the moon collide...   live & love

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when the sun and the moon collide... live & love

My daughter bought this tank top earlier this summer that couldn't be ANY more perfect in light of the Solar Eclipse of 2017!!    So, in honor of the occasion, I had to make her wear it and let me take some pictures!!!  Check out how she ROCKED the shirt and the shades...  too bad we didn't have a pair of official eclipse glasses! ;)   Happy Viewing!!! 

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Back to School 2017- NHP Style

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Back to School 2017- NHP Style

It is so crazy that we are in the fall of 2017!!  School starts for my girls this week.  My youngest will be off to start her senior year today.  Thursday morning we will be taking my oldest daughter to begin her life journey at Illinois State University.  So many changes.  So much time passing so quickly..  

Here's to the start of another year of learning and growth.  May our future burn bright in our young adults!  I was SO excited to have two of my NHP Class of 2017 seniors come to my studio & model for a "Vogue" feel photoshoot in honor of back-to-school...  they were  AMAZING!!!

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I'm so glad we had this time together...

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I'm so glad we had this time together...

Thanks for the memories...

Thanks for the memories...

    As I swept up the remnants of the last two years of Niki Hunt Photography at 221 W. Washington St.,  I found myself humming the song that Carol Burnett sang at the end of her television show:             

                                        “I'm so glad we had this time together,                                                                                                                        Just to have a laugh, or sing a song.                                                                                                                              Seems we just got started and before you know it,                                                                                                Comes the time we have to say, 'So long.'"

    Just humming that tune made me feel kind of sad, remembering the nights that I’d lay on the living room floor with my mom, dad, brothers, and sister and watch TV.  (BTW, I hated when I had to get up to adjust the dial to get the screen to stop “rolling”... ask your parents/grandparents to explain.)  I started thinking about how incredibly fast life seems these days, how my babies are both about to embark on amazing adventures of their own very soon.  It seems like not that long ago my mom was helping me study to pass my nursing classes and state board exam, and yet will be 18 years this Christmas since she went to heaven...   As all these thoughts were passing through my mind, I realized that my photography is almost as important in many ways, as what I accomplished as a nurse. 

    The only family portrait I have with my parents and siblings was taken about 2 years before my dad died at the age of 51 in 1987.  I will forever cherish that one single moment printed on a piece of paper!   Capturing moments in time is SO important when they are so fleeting.  So, as I finish rambling and wipe a couple of sappy tears off my face, I pray that whatever the future holds at 302 W. Washington Street, it will be blessed with many more wonderful moments spent with both old and new friends!!!

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      I was SO honored to be able to capture pictures of some of THE most AMAZING young men and women that are The Class of 2016!!!!  Thank you for ALL the fun!!  God bless.    XOXOX, Niki :)  ________________________________________________  "You see us as you want to see us—in the simplest terms, in the most convenient definitions. But what we found out is that each one of us is a brain...and an athlete...and a basket case...a princess...and a criminal. Does that answer your question? Sincerely yours, The Breakfast Club"  ________________________________________________

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I was SO honored to be able to capture pictures of some of THE most AMAZING young men and women that are The Class of 2016!!!!

Thank you for ALL the fun!!  God bless.  

XOXOX, Niki :)

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"You see us as you want to see us—in the simplest terms, in the most convenient definitions. But what we found out is that each one of us is a brain...and an athlete...and a basket case...a princess...and a criminal. Does that answer your question? Sincerely yours, The Breakfast Club"

________________________________________________

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Chinese Lunar New Year 2016 || Year of the Monkey

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Chinese Lunar New Year 2016 || Year of the Monkey

I found a great article about the Chinese New Year on CNN.com.   I thought I would share it along with these FABULOUS pictures of the lovely Emi !!  (Can you believe she hasn't modeled before???...  seriously, the camera LOVES her!!)  ENJOY!!!!

(From CNN.com)  Here's some background information about Lunar New Year, which is celebrated in many countries in Asia. It is the longest and most important celebration in the Chinese lunisolar calendar.

Facts: 
February 8, 2016 - The year 4714 begins. It marks the first day of the New Year on the Chinese calendar.

2016 is the year of the Monkey.

    The Lunar New Year is celebrated during the second new moon after the winter solstice, usually between January 21 and February 20 on the Gregorian calendar.

    Lunar New Year festivities begin on the first day of the first lunar month on the Chinese calendar and continue until the 15th of the lunar month, when the moon is full.

    Chinese legend holds that Buddha asked all the animals to meet him on New Year's Day and named a year after each of the twelve animals that came. 

    The animals in the Chinese calendar are the dog, pig/boar, rat, ox, tiger, rabbit, dragon, snake, horse, sheep, monkey, and rooster.

    Also, according to legend, people born in each animal's year have some of that animal's personality traits.

    Traditions:
    In China, the public holiday lasts three days, but celebrations take place over the entire 15 day period.

    Families gather together for meals, especially for a feast on New Year's Eve.

    Each day of the fifteen day celebration has its own traditions, such as visiting in-laws or staying home to welcome good fortune.

    Fireworks displays during Lunar New Year stem from a custom of lighting bamboo stalks on fire to ward off evil spirits. 

    Tangerines in Chinese sounds similar to the word "luck" and orange sounds like the Chinese word for "wealth". Through the play of words, the Chinese give the gift of oranges and tangerines as a wish of happiness and prosperity.  The bright orange color of the fruits also symbolizes 'gold', so it also has a meaning to bring in good luck and wealth.  Tangerines and oranges are often displayed in houses, offices and shops as they believe it will usher in good fortune for the occupants.

    In Chinese symbolism, the poppy represents rest, beauty and success.

    In Chinese symbolism, the poppy represents rest, beauty and success.

    Glove puppetry is a type of opera using cloth puppets that originated during the 17th century

    Glove puppetry is a type of opera using cloth puppets that originated during the 17th century

    The Chinese have historically regarded carved-jade objects as intrinsically valuable, and they metaphorically equated jade with purity and indestructibility.  || Chinese opera performers use exaggerated paints on their faces in the same way as ancient warriors did to scare the enemy; each color has a different meaning. They are used to symbolize a character's role, fate, and illustrate the character's emotional state and general character.  Pink symbolizes sophistication, and cool-headedness.

    The Chinese have historically regarded carved-jade objects as intrinsically valuable, and they metaphorically equated jade with purity and indestructibility.  || Chinese opera performers use exaggerated paints on their faces in the same way as ancient warriors did to scare the enemy; each color has a different meaning. They are used to symbolize a character's role, fate, and illustrate the character's emotional state and general character.  Pink symbolizes sophistication, and cool-headedness.

    Lunar New Year ends with the lantern festival, celebrated at night with displays and parades of painted lanterns.

    I can't thank Emi and her mom enough for all their help in creating these images showing the beauty of Emi's cultural heritage!!  

    HAPPY NEW YEAR!!!!





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    FIERCE Fashion Friday!

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    FIERCE Fashion Friday!

    Kaleigh Web 5.png

    Seriously.  NO.  WORDS.  This outfit + this super sweet, crazy talented, and unbelievably GORGEOUS young woman = EPIC pictures!!!  As soon as I saw this dress and those shoes, I KNEW her pictures were going to be FABULOUS.  One of THE most important parts of the NHP Experience is the Pre-Session Consultation!  The Consultation is the time I spend working with my seniors and their parents planning out their session down to the smallest details.  This pre-planning is HUGE in creating the senior pictures that you've been dreaming of!!  Contact me to set up YOUR Niki Hunt Photography Experience today!!!

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    NOT the "same old" senior pictures...

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    NOT the "same old" senior pictures...

    ||One of the things that I want to do with ALL my seniors, is to give them the ability to "express their many moods".  This gorgeous girl not only looked stunningly classic in her green maxi-dress, but also ROCKED her Americana tank and combat boots!!!  At her custom design consultation, her mom commented, "It's too bad you can't share her slideshow so everyone can see how great ALL of her pictures are!"  You know what?  She was ABSOLUTELY right. (Moms usually are...)  Meet the sweet, funny, and lovely Katrina, Hononegah High School Class of 2016!!  Check out her personal slideshow showcasing her amazing style, and all of the FABULOUS pictures that came from her NHP Experience!!!  

    Contact me today to plan YOUR NHP Experience!!

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    Really. You are now a SENIOR!

    If it is just now hitting you, I completely get it!  You are starting your last year of high school.  Life is about to change really fast.  My own daughter is starting her Junior year, and I can't believe it.  So... here's my suggestion for all of you.  OWN it.  Make this last year one that makes you smile when you look back on it years from now!  Do your best and let YOUR light shine for all to see!!  Wishing you all an amazing Senior year!!!  (obligatory inspirational quote ending <3 )

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    It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas...

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    It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas...

    11-21-14 Modern Senior Pictures // Northern Illinois

    Well, winter is here without any apologies!  Let's run with it and celebrate the start of the holiday season.  Join us in Oregon, IL and have a blast at the annual Candlelight Walk!  I am SO EXCITED to have a group of fabulous teens that are going to be modeling clothing and accessories (on loan from Merlin's The Other Side boutique) as live window mannequins at my new studio!!  Make sure to swing by and check them out.  Enjoy a hot drink and delicious samples of Jen's Artisan Breads.  Don't miss it!

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    HEY, Seniors! Time to think Back To School... in STYLE!!

    What do Ogres, Onions, and Outfits have in common... ?  

    What do Ogres, Onions, and Outfits have in common... ?  

          HELLO, High School Seniors in Rockford, Byron, Oregon, Winnebago, Pecatonica, Freeport, Forreston, Dixon, Polo, Rochelle, and beyond... !!  This is it!  You are about to start a year that will go by SO fast.   Crazy as it sounds, before you know it you will be thinking back to this, your SENIOR year, and reminisce over how much time has gone by, and remember what a blast you had with all your friends.  But, for right now, you are looking forward to all the memories you are going to make!  I remember one of my favorite parts about going back to school, (besides getting to spend time with the friends you missed all summer), was BACK TO SCHOOL CLOTHES SHOPPING!!!  There is nothing quite like the thrill of the hunt for the perfect outfit for the start of the school year...   So, I did some scouting on the world wide web and found this image that made me stop and want to share with all of you.  I. Love. Layering.  I REALLY love layering!!  There is nothing that can add instant style to an outfit as fast as an extra layer or two, or three.  (Well..., except maybe for accessories, but I'll save that for a more in depth discussion in a future post.)    

       Why do I love layering?  Let me count the ways.

    1. It is EASY.  Just grab a t-shirt or tank top and throw on a button down shirt/blouse.  Done.
    2. It creates INTEREST.  Don't think you can mix a stripe sweater with a plaid blouse?  Ummm, check out the second picture above.  It works.  
    3. It gives you tons of OPTIONS.  Just when you think your closet has run out of steam, you can mix and match tanks, shirts, blazers, vest, sweaters, hoodies, jackets... the list goes on and on.
    4. It can actually SAVE you $$$.  You don't have to run out to buy a new dress because there is no way you want to wear the same one more than once. Just cover it up.  By adding a long sweater, or shirt, with a belt, or tossing on a denim jacket, it is transformed into an entirely new look.  You can then add accessories to change it up even more!  

       So, what's the bottom line?  Ogres, onions, and outfits all have LAYERS.  Here's wishing all you Class of 2K15 seniors a fantastic start to your senior year!  

                                                      smiles & sunshine,  Niki

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    What a summer!

    St. Joseph, MI lighthouse 

     

    I hope everyone has had a chance to make at least one wonderful memory this summer.  I can honestly say that our family vacation this summer was F.U.N.  My girls (Allison and Jessica) invited a couple of friends to join us on a short camping trip to South Haven, MI, and we had a blast!  The weather was fantastic, and the area was jam-packed with tons of things to do.  {I have to give major kudos to my wonderful husband for his patience with four teenage girls in a camper for a week!!  What a trooper.}    I really enjoyed our time away, but, now I am so excited to get started on making some memories with the Class of 2015! 

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