Hello! My name is Cindy and welcome to my blog where you can view our most recent work. I have been a professional photographer for 16 years. Our primary focus is weddings and high school seniors, But we also photograph family portraits too! We are Central Illinois' leading photographers for professional headshots for small businesses, large corporations, and businesses in need of personal branding, and content for their social media and websites. My team are experts at what we do and very good at making anyone and everyone comfortable in front of the camera and bringing out your very best.
Meet Naya Grimm, Class of 2021 senior from Dee-Mack High School! We are so excited for her as she just finished her very last day of high school this past Friday and she graduates in just 4 more days! Naya is one of the coolest seniors ever.. super passionate about horses and has the the coolest 1969 F100 stepwise yellow truck named Adeline. The inspiration for her name can from the song Sweet Adeline. Incorporating Adeline into Naya’s senior session as well as a couple of our themed shoots this year has been unique and fun! I’m excited to tell you more about Naya.. keep reading on!!!
Naya loves talking to people and learning about them. She is very outgoing in a group of strangers and she’s very active, loves challenges and going on new adventures. That’s probably why she is so great working as the head guide at Blazin’ A Trail Riding and Boarding as well as a local vet clinic. In school, she was a cheerleader up until this past year and she’s been active on the Student Council, FCA, and Scholastic Bowl. Her hobbies include throwing knives/hatches, flipping Balisong knives, training BJJ, messing around with instruments, and going to the barn with her best friend.
Her favorite teacher was Mr. Ingram. “He was my first real art teacher in seventh grade, and he has seen me all the way through to my senior year… Through him and the art classes offered, I have gotten some amazing opportunites to go to art shows and competitions around central Illinois. My favorite school event to attend is definitly Friday night football games. I have always been right up in the action as a cheerleader, so the energy around the school on game days is completly unmatched. Everything from choosing the themes of the game nights to riding the game bus with the boys and other cheerleaders absoloulty makes the experience. On top of that, it means a lot to be able to celebrate each win and loss with the team and cheer them on with classmates.”
One of the memories that will stick most with Naya this past year is when she and two other art students painted the weight room. “There are tons of murals on every wall!”
This fall, Naya will be going to Equine Massage Therapy school and getting licensed to practice. My goal is to move to Montana to continue guiding on a larger scale and start a client base with massage therapy.
Naya would describe her perfect day as “waking up and heading to the ranch to go for a trail ride with friends. Then I’d head home to help my mom set up for a bonfire with friends and family and hang out with them for the rest of the night.”
What did you learn most about yourself this year? “I shouldn’t be afraid to be me. I feel like up until this year, I have just kind of gone with the flow.. whether it’s dressing like everyone else, doing the same things as everyone else… This year, I have adopted a style that’s more me. I wear belts and belt buckles to school. I wear bootcut jeans and Twisted X shoes, beaded necklaces, oversize flannels, hats and even turquoise jewelry. I stopped dressing and trying to fit in with my peers and just decided to be myself. The confidence I’ve gained is unmatched! I’m 1000x more comfortable in some of the Western styles of clothing I choose to wear as opposed to what the Midwest trends are. I wish I would have started doing this my freshman year!”
“I have two horses named The General and Wick. Wick has all kinds of nicknames including Wickers, Wickett, Wicks.. the list goes on! I also got a dog! I figured I’d need a sidekick for my adventures out West so I rescued a 1 year old Texas Heller named Trout. He goes everywhere with me!”
What is the most daring thing you have ever done? **Mom please stop reading now** The most daring thing I’ve ever done is when I was out on a trail ride, and there was a bird nest hanging half-on and half-off of a tree branch with 2 little birds in it. I couldn’t reach it from the ground and I couldn’t climb up the tree from the ground to get to it, so I ended up standing up on top of General (after saying a quick prayer that he would stay there and not leave me stranded) and pulled myself up into the tree to reposition the nest back into the branches. Thankfully, my horse stayed there and didn’t freak out when I jumped back on him from the tree branch and we made it back to the ranch intact!”
“If I could travel anywhere in the world, I would go to the Grand Tetons in a heartbeat.”
What’s the most unusual thing you have ever eaten? “I was at my church youth group and I lost a challenge so I had to eat a chocolate covered cricket!”
What is the best thing about your parents? “They have always supported me through all of my crazy dreams and adventures and I know they will continue to do so. They are my biggest supporters and I am so blessed to have them. I love them more than anything.”
“I honestly can’t say that I have only one hero. I have been inspired and motivated and pushed by so many people in my life and they have all made me into the person that I am today. Georgia Pflederer inspires me every day to live my faith. Amanda Schwarz inspires me every day to play the hand that I am dealt well. My dad inspires me every day to go out and live the life that I want. My mom inspires me every day to always keep going and don’t let other people hold me back.”
My favorite family trip was a trip we took in 2016. It was a super huge month-long out West trip where we hit everywhere from Texas, Arizona, Nevada, California, and even Wyoming! It was an amazing experience.
Do you have any nickames? My family calls me “Special” ☺️
What advice would you give to incoming freshman? “This is advice specifically for freshmen going into Dee-Mack… THE BATHROOM DOORS BY THE TECH OFFICE SWING OUT, NOT IN!! Take it from me, you do NOT want to be walking past and get cracked in the face with the solid wood door… It hurts! Another quick high school horror story: I was walking out of those bathrooms one day and swing the door directly into the “cool” senior carrying her coffee mug and made her spill hot coffee all over herself… Talk about feeling bad! As for freshmen in general, I would tell them to go all out for high school.
Which holiday is your favorite? My favorite holiday is definitely Thanksgiving. I love getting together with family and eating all kinds of good food! My favorite holiday traditions are during Christmas. Every Christmas, we cut out snowflakes to decorate our gifts for the year. We wrap them in brown paper, and either tie a bow with red and white cooking string or glue snowflakes onto them. A few years ago, we didn’t have any snow and it was super sad, so my brother and I took a bunch of the leftover snowflakes and strung them up around the main parts of the house so we still had a white Christmas.
What are three things on your bucket list? Go on a Thru-Ride 2. Get my Outfitter’s license 3. Own my own event venue/ranch
This and That: