Ashley Sanchez Photography » Fine Art Portraiture and Photography in the Tampa Bay, Central Florida and Worldwide!

Category Archives: Seniors

So, you know when you were a little girl, there was always this person you idolized? That older teenage girl that you just wanted to be? Like your best friend’s cool older sister, or that babysitter who always brough Seventeen Magazine over, and looked like the model on the cover?

For me, that was Kelly Kapowski from Saved By the Bell. There was just something about her effortless beauty. She was young and beautiful and sweet, all with out really trying to be. She was an enigma. And no matter what you did to try and emulate her casual sense of cool, it didn’t matter…because it radiated from inside her. It was something you could become.

That’s Sierra.

I can’t help but wonder how many little girls see her and think, “that’s exactly who I want to be!”

She’s as sweet as she is sun kissed, and her inner joy shines as brightly as the natural highlights in her hair. She radiates!

Sierra was actually the first of my senior girls I had the pleasure of meeting, when she modeled for my promo shoot. I feel in love with her straight away.

She has a strong faith that’s carried her through one of the toughest things a young woman can face; being the new face. She moved states in the middle of her high school career, and landed right here in St. Petersburg…but she embraced it with her contagious optimism. She’s easy going, but I have no doubt that a lot of that comes from her knowing that life is in the hands of someone much greater than her, who loves her an awful lot.

Sierra makes her own jewelry! And it is breathtaking. I actually had no idea about this, until she showed up to the shoot with a bag full of accessories that we all “oooh”ed and “ahhhh”ed over! It’s really quite unreal, and such a talent.

She’s a self proclaimed movie and music buff, which is right up my alley! And she’s going to rock senior year at Keswick Christian.

I’m so proud to say that Sierra is on my team, and I am so lucky to get to know her. I count all of the girls as my friends, and I won’t lie…it’s a little fun to say I’m friends with a real life “Kelly Kapowski” ๐Ÿ˜‰
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When you first see Chelsea, you are immediately taken by her striking beauty.

Her fair skin, dark eyes, and gorgeous chestnut hair, make it almost impossible to stop looking! And then? She smiles! And it’s all over. She reminds me so much of a young Andie Macdowell.

Obviously I try not to put too much emphasis on physical appearance, because as we all know, there is so much more beneath the surface that defines someone’s beauty (and Chelsea is no exception). But it’s hard not to mention it, in Chelsea’s case. She is just so stunning!

But what is beauty without brains? Chelsea will never need to know the answer.

Chelsea is an ambitious young lady. At, St. Pete High, where she will be a senior, Chelsea is enrolled in (and dominates) the International Baccalaureate Program, an intense and rigorous high school program that prepares students to be well rounded and globally minded. For those who take on this huge and challenging task, the work load is doubled and in some cases tripled! And Chelsea manages it with grace.

One of the things I love most about Chelsea is her honesty. She talked about how she had to learn to manage her anxiety when it came to school work her freshman year. Instead of quitting or letting it get the best of her, she actively pursued solutions…and one of those was co-founding the Yoga Club at her school. And now she serves as VP of the club!She is passionate about balancing her life with activities that calm her. Her ability to be so well rounded, amazes me.

So how will she fill her spare time in her senior year(๐Ÿ˜‚)? She is Vice President of the English Honor Society, Service Chair for the Rojan’s service Club, and she volunteers as a tutor for freshman students entering the IB program. She was recently named Captain of the St. Petersburg High School Devilettes Dance Team!

One of my very favorite fun facts about Chelsea, is that every year she accompanies her father on trips around the world. She has visited Slovenia, Paris, Brussels, Barcelona, Belgium, London and Tokyo. So well traveled and only 17!

No wonder there is so much life and wisdom behind those striking brown eyes.

This young woman is such an inspiration and role model to me, and she is half my age! I just hope I can adequately capture her spirit, because it is tangible. I’m so humbled that I get to try.

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Today is day two of my Level Twelve member feature. And I woke up SO excited today to introduce Catelyn. I literally leapt out of bed with excitement, because her pictures are to die for!

Before we get to the portraits, I want to tell you a little bit about Catelyn, and the amazing girl she is.

Catelyn is a beach girl at heart, and it shows! Her skin is glowing from the the sun, natural highlights shine in her hair, and I wouldn’t be surprised to learn that she was born with the sand between her toes! When you think of a florida girl, Catelyn is what you picture!

When I first met Catelyn, I noticed how reserved she was. Her sweet nature makes her a great listener, and she comes alive in front of the camera.

Catelyn is extremely involved in her church, where her father serves as pastor. It is evident that her faith is extremely important to her! The age old stereotype of a “PK” does NOT apply to her. She wears her faith like a badge of pride and it’s clear that it guides her in all of her choices,

She will be a senior this year at Keswick Christian! Recently she has decided that she wants to pursue PT, so her schooling has become a top priority for her.

Catelyn’s laid back, beach personality drew me in the first day I met her, as I can totally relate! She has been such an asset to this team bringing her natural ease and out-going persona into every event and picture. I honestly think she could have a future in modeling, should she want to pursue it!

Dibs on shooting that portfolio ๐Ÿ˜‰.

I am so thankful Catelyn and her sweet parents decided to trust me to capture her amazing spirit. I can hardly wait for her senior session!
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Level Twelve has been so much fun for me! For those of you who do not know, Level Twelve is Ashley Sanchez Photography’s Senior Portrait division! And I have the ABSOLUTE best girls, reppin’ me and St. Petersburg.

These ladies are teenage girl #GOALS.

And today, starts my very first feature for the team. I want to introduce every one to the beautiful, intelligent, and ambitious Rylee Hickman! this is a young woman I look up to, and not just because she’s 5’8 ๐Ÿ˜‰

Rylee is what every parent DREAMS of their daughter becoming. She is an upcoming senior at St. Petersburg High School (whoop! go Green Devils!), but beyond that, she is enrolled in the IB (or International Baccalaureate) program. For those of you unaware, that means she takes on more than 3x the work load of a regular student, in classes that help craft her to be globally minded and prepared for continued education at a higher level.

Sounds stressful, right? No worries, at school she helped found the Yoga Club because she recognizes and values balance and peace (what? come on! ๐Ÿ˜ย). She is Vice President on the board of Habitat for Humanity at her school, and is a member of the service club; Rojans. Don’t worry…in case you didn’t think she has enough to accomplish and dominate, she is also a part of St. Pete High’s Dance Team; The Devilettes!


So what do you think? Can she get all her work done?

Well, let’s see…she is in Mu Alpha Theta (the math honor society), Spanish National Honor Society, Science National Honor Society, Rho Kappa (the history honor society), and English Honor Society, for which she is an Historian!


Honestly, I am so completely humbled and honored that she felt that Level Twelve was worthy of gracing her resume. The true definition of beauty and brains. She is the entire package, and I cannot wait to see what she accomplishes!

Make-up by the incomparable Michele Galletto at Lasting Luxe Hair and Make-up Artistry
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Talk about a labor of love!

It hasn’t been easy transitioning to a new town. I gave myself a year to get myself and my sweet little family settled before I tried to reach a new market, and it’s exactly as hard as I thought it would be!

Reinvention is a tricky little thing. It’s so exciting, but at the same time so intimidating. What if you reinvent…wrong? Is that possible? Shouldn’t I just try to be the most authentic version of myself? If I was…then wouldn’t the business follow? Well, that’s what I’m hoping ๐Ÿ˜‰

When I was pondering all of the above, I realized that I wasn’t any different that the market I was trying to reach. I knew I wanted to begin focusing on High School Seniors, and who better to learn from than those in the throws of the biggest identity crisis of them all? 17 year olds. Not quite children, not quite adults. It’s that transition time. Who are you? Where do you want to go? What do you want to be KNOWN for? I chuckled to myself as I realized that we never fully conquer these questions.

I knew the best way to grow my Senior Photography business was to have a rep team, so I hit the pavement and began creating my own unique program; Level Twelve.

After a long process that included applications, meetings and public speaking (yikes), and lots of tears on my part…God gave me the four most gorgeous (inside and out!) girls!

These ladies are the embodiment of everything I wanted Level Twelve to stand for. They are graceful, smart, determined, KIND, beautiful and unique. They truly represent the best of St. Petersburg!

Beyond that though, these young ladies have reinforced inside my soul the desire and passion I have for working with, and capturing this age group.

So much hope. So much promise. So many dreams!

Of course my goal is to grow my team. To get the word out about Ashley Sanchez Photography. But more than that, I want to grow with these girls for a year. I want to see (and capture them!) in this last and most important year of their adolescence.

I can’t wait to see how much I learn from them! Each one of these girls will get their own day on my blog next week, where I’ll share pictures from our first shoot together, and talk a little more formally about each of these special women!

But, without further ado…It’s time to introduce the four most beautiful girls in St. Petersburg, Florida ๐Ÿ™‚

Meet Catelyn! Catelyn is a Junior at Keswick Christian School. Beyond her natural beauty, she is wearing a Rocko’s Modern Life shirt! Speaking directly to this 90’s gal’s heart.
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This is Chelsea! Chelsea is currently a junior at St. Petersburg High School! (GO Green Devils!). Her eye color is the most breathtaking color. It’s like actual caramel! She as sweet as it also ๐Ÿ˜‰ This beautiful lady is highly involved in her school, between the dance team and service clubs. She’s basically who I wanted to be in high school, haha!
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I’d love to introduce you to Rylee! Rylee also attends St. Petersburg High School, and her skin is as perfect as it looks (what?!?). But who cares about perfect skin, when you’re an IB student NAILING high school? Brains and beauty…the total package.
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And last but not least, the gorgeous Sierra. Sierra is a junior at Keswick and recently moved form Georgia (my home state!). She is just about the most photogenic person I know. She is all over my marketing material, because LOOK AT HER! haha. You won’t meet a kinder soul!
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We may be small, but we are mighty! And I couldn’t ask for a better group of women to represent me and brand. I can’t wait for all we have in store this year. Be prepared to see A LOT more of the gorgeous faces!
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