Make No Comparisons


It feels like something harmless. But it’s kind of like a wolf in sheep’s clothing. Ready to pounce on you when you least expect it.

Comparison steals joy. It’ll knock the wind straight out of you. It will catch you off guard before you even have the chance to stand your ground.

I struggle with comparison.

I think, “Well, if only I had this or that…like her, THEN I would be able to do or have x, y, or z.”

“She’s so lucky to have that.”

“I wish I looked like that. I wish I had that. I wish I could be more like…”

But we need to stop.

We all have a purpose of our own that cannot be compared with anyone else’s. Yes, we can turn to friends and family for advice and assistance, but in the long run, we need to stop comparing ourselves to others. No matter who it is, what they have, how they look, or where they are. We’re each running our own race in life. Against ourselves. Let’s not defeat ourselves, but help ourselves win. Because you’re playing against yourself. No one else.

Be the best version of yourself.

You’ll thank yourself later.

“Make no comparisons. Keep your head down and do your own thing.” – Torrie Asai

I came across this quote a few days ago and it struck me. As someone who is working on keeping comparisons out of the equation of life, this gives me the motivation to do my own thing. Make my own rules. Forge my own path.

I think that when you’re used to rules and regulations and “ways of doing things” that you can get caught up in doing it the “right way”. But for many things in life (especially after high school), there is no “right way”. You have to figure it out. Do your own thing.

It’s about owning it. And loving yourself enough to know that you’re doing your own thing. And it’s okay. In fact, it’s awesome.

When you do your own thing, you blaze your own trail, you become a leader in your own right.

So lead.

Don’t worry about what other people might say.

They’re stuck in the cycle of comparison.

Go on. Make things happen.

Make No Comparisons - Torrie Asaivia ShopTheBar


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April Goals

This year. It seems to be going by faster than I can keep up with.

It’s been a great year so far. I’m excited to see where 2014 takes me and my business.

I truly believe that when you get to do what you love every day, you’ll never feel like you have “job” because you’re thrilled to do it every day. I’m thankful to have found something I love!



- Senior Portrait season is in FULL swing with 12 shoots…oh my!
- Hanging out with my Senior Spokesmodel team! They are awesome, can’t wait to photograph them so I can share more here.
- Plan, plan, plan and shoot the 2015 Senior Spokesmodel Group Editorial Shoots…yes there are two!
- Attend a senior portrait workshop!

Catie Ronquillo Photography Senior Spokesmodel Program Shoot Inspiration


- Go to Pure Barre 2x a week. I’m on a quest to get to the 100 Club, but this month is already super busy, so I’m hoping I can make it twice a week.
- Finish our taxes…one of the joys of being an adult…for real before the deadline.
- Go on vacation, even for a few days.

My list is short and sweet, but I’ve got a lot to get done!

What are some of your goals to get done this month?

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Sneak Peek: Meredith | New Tech @ Coppell

Meredith gets to see her official senior portraits this weekend! She is a senior at New Tech @ Coppell and is going to Baylor University in the Fall to study Fashion Merchandising.

Sic’em Bears!

Meredith is one of my senior models for the Class of 2014, and she’s always so fun to photograph! I loved her cream top with jeans and green statement necklace, she looks so collegiate. I can’t wait to see where life takes her. I’m sure she will do great things!

New Tech @ Coppell Senior Portraits at Grapevine Spring Park. White top with green necklace.New Tech @ Coppell Senior Portraits at Grapevine Spring Park. Baylor University Shirt and Cowboy boots.

Thinking about a senior portrait session? Ready to book your session? NOW BOOKING SPRING 2014! Spring is also my favorite time of year to photograph in Texas! The weather is perfect – not too cold and not too warm. Golden hour really is golden. This is the perfect time of year to book your senior portrait session with Catie Ronquillo Photography!  There are only TWO spots left for April. Now booking for May & June 2014. BOOK YOUR SESSION NOW BEFORE IT’S TOO LATE!

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Santa Barbara Styled Shoot

I had the incredible opportunity to lead a styled senior portrait session when I was in Santa Barbara, California last month. It was fun to show other photographers how I work with high school seniors, from posing them to interacting with them on a photo shoot.

Christy is a high school senior in Santa Barbara, and spent her afternoon with us to be our model.

Flower Crown Styled Dallas Destination Senior Portraits in Santa Barbara California on the Beach at the Fess Parker

Flower Crown Dallas Destination Senior Portraits in Santa Barbara California on the Beach at the Fess ParkerDallas Destination Senior Portraits in Santa Barbara California on the Beach at the Fess ParkerI love that Christy’s eyelashes match the lavender!

Dallas Destination Senior Portraits in Santa Barbara California in the lavender at the Fess ParkerDallas Destination Senior Portraits in Santa Barbara California in the Lavender at the Fess ParkerThese next two photos remind me of Pocahontas (the Disney movie version). Colors of the Wind, anyone?

Flower Crown Dallas Destination Senior Portraits in Santa Barbara California on the Beach at the Fess ParkerDallas Destination Senior Portraits in Santa Barbara California on the Beach at the Fess Parker

I was so excited about being able to photograph at the beach in Santa Barbara. There are no beaches here in Dallas, and no, I don’t think that the “beach” at the lakes count. That’s sand, but it’s no the same as the ocean. So, I tried to make the most of photographing on the beach. It was chilly and overcast, but Christy totally made it work!

Dallas Destination Senior Portraits in Santa Barbara California on the Beach at the Fess Parker

Thank you, Christy, for being an awesome model!

Dallas Destination Senior Portraits in Santa Barbara California on the Beach at the Fess Parker

Now, who wants senior portraits in Santa Barbara? I’m getting ready to launch Destination Senior Portrait options for those seniors who want to finish off their Senior Year in a BIG way! Locations will include San Francisco, San Diego, Savannah, New York, and Austin.

Makeup: Cassidy Zellman

Flower Crown: 2Js Photography

Dress: Thrifted by Kelly Lynne Fotos

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Why I Love Photographing Senior Portraits for Girls

I’ve thought long and hard about sharing this post. It’s always difficult to share your most authentic self online, but if this post helps just one person, I know that it was well worth the risk.

I’ve been thinking about why I decided to start doing high school senior portraits. Besides the fact that high school seniors are a fun age group to photograph, especially since most teenage girls enjoy being in front of the camera and feeling like a model for a day, it’s more than that. There’s more to it than just that “it’s fun”. It goes back to my own experience in high school and growing up.

From second to eighth grade, I went to a small Catholic school where we wore uniforms. As much as wearing a uniform felt like a drag, it took away the “What do I wear today?” question. When I got to high school, it was a relatively small Catholic school as well, but there were no uniforms. There was a fairly strict dress code, but I got to choose what to wear each day. As someone who is far from being a fashionista, this was kind of overwhelming. Confession: I used to keep a piece of paper taped in my closet to make sure I didn’t repeat outfits. Oh goodness, I can’t believe I just admitted that!

People talk about adolescence as being a tough time. Oh it is. Especially if you’ve ever had one bit of insecurity. For me, I was shy and quiet. I was very observant and was fascinated by watching other people (still am). But throughout my high school experience, I hardly ever felt like I belonged. I remember one of my friends from grade school left me by the wayside for new “cooler” friends (at least that was my perception). I was overweight and couldn’t shop in the Juniors section or juniors clothing stores. I would bow out of shopping invitations from friends, because I didn’t want them to know that I couldn’t shop in the same section. I never really felt pretty. I was awkward around boys. I was your average nerdy girl teenager who just longed to be considered cool. Even for a second.

My self esteem was further butchered one afternoon when I was confronted by a bully (who was ironically smaller than me) for something that I had said about someone else. Life lesson girls: Don’t say (post/write/tweet/instagram) anything you might regret later. It has a funny way of coming back to haunt you. I admit I made a mistake, but I never thought that it would come back to get me. The details of that confrontation don’t matter, but I do remember feeling horrible. I felt reduced to nothing.

Did I mention that happened freshman year?

It was after that experience that I was more self-conscious than ever. I worried about what other kids would think of what I wore/said/did. I worried about being judged. I would tell myself that I didn’t care what other people thought, but you know we all do! I was so insecure. I wouldn’t let anyone know that, but I was so terrified of what other people thought that I let it control me sometimes. I compensated for my outward insecurities by burying my nose in my books and acing tests and getting good grades. I figured that if there was one thing that I could get right, it would be doing well in school.

And I did.

I graduated second in my class. I was proud of that accomplishment. I knew that I would never be the most outgoing, the prettiest, the loudest, or the most popular, but I could leverage my intelligence. It wasn’t until I really started to accept myself for who I was that I started to love myself. It’s been a long and slow process and many times that insecurity seeps into my life even now as an adult. But I don’t let it control me anymore.

Don’t get me wrong, I have a wonderful, supportive family, and I had a great group of friends in high school. These struggles were internalized on my part. Because really, who likes to talk about their insecurities?

High school is a fun and great time, but it can also be a tough time. Especially if you are shy. Especially if you are quiet. Especially if you’re a little nerdy or geeky. If you feel like you don’t fit the mold of what it is to be in high school, your experience might not be all Friday Night Lights and cupcakes and unicorns. Sometimes, high school is something you have get through.

I was that shy, insecure, nerdy girl. I get what it’s like.

Now, as a photographer, I’m honored to take your senior portraits. Because they are not just pictures. I strive to give you an amazing experience of feeling beautiful and confident in your own skin. Because that feeling is empowering; it’s an experience that can change your perspective. I hope to give high school girls an experience I wish I could have had in high school. The permission to feel brave, brilliant, and beautiful. The permission to let go of any insecurities that may be haunting you.This is my heart. This is why I work with high school senior girls specifically.

BEAUTIFULEvery girl is beautiful and deserves the chance to see how amazing she truly is.

  • Jen Kashak - I think it is great that you wrote this! I really think that the majority of people were insecure teens, even the ones we might have thought were “cool” or “popular”! I had my group of friends, but never really even tried to talk to the popular kids, and I had several experiences of running into them as adults and having them say that they wished I had talked to them! I’ve also talked to people who were considered popular, that told me it was completely exhausting because they were constantly afraid to “mess up” and do something that would deem them “uncool”. I think the service that you offer young girls – the chance to be confident and feel beautiful as they are – is wonderful!ReplyCancel

  • Patricia Joaquin-Burkhalter - You always gave me the impression of someone brave and confident…..certainly intelligent, no….brilliant which you are. I am proud of you, ReplyCancel

  • Lesile - Great story. Intelligence is beautiful.ReplyCancel

  • Liz - Whaaaat???!!! You weren’t the coolest girl in school??? From what I know of ya, they missed out! I think you’re KILLER!

    … and if someone accidentally drooled all over your website, it wasn’t me. *wipes chin*

    I love your eye!!!ReplyCancel

  • Anna Morgan Dobrenski - This is awesome Catie! Thanks for sharing your story. Makes me want to hug you! Anyone that decides to step in front of your camera is lucky : )ReplyCancel

  • Marlene Lebel - So forthcoming in your complete honesty! Nice getting to know your photographer before the shoot! <3ReplyCancel

  • Katie Sack Prentiss - well said catie! ReplyCancel

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