I loved taking my senior pictures! Especially with Michelle, every shoot I do with her is a blast! It’s very exciting to finally be done with the chaos and drama that’s high school and move onto better things (like work or school or both). Here are 5 tips that I’ve learned throughout the shoots I’ve participated in.
BE TRUE TO YOURSELF
The perfect homemade prop!
Being true to yourself is one of the most important things when doing a photo shoot. Especially when they’re your Senior pictures! Make sure that the shoot will fully represent you and your personality! It might be fun to try something different but you don’t have to change everything you like for a shoot that’s supposed to be about you. Enjoy what you like and show it off!
Props are one of my favorite things to use during a shoot! Some pictures Michelle took of me were with an old phone that we both loved! It instantly gave the picture the retro vibe we were going for! Having props is a ton of fun but just make sure not to over do it! Just a couple should do the trick! Also don’t be afraid to bring homemade things as props! I made this amazing flower crown that we used for a couple pictures and those ended up being my favorites!
KEEP IT SIMPLE
A simple outfit that looks great!
When picking out clothes (Which is the hardest step) you should to talk about it with your photographer! That way they can make sure it’ll look good when photographed. You may want to rethink that white shirt or that crazy print shirt you have. Bring lots of solids to mix and match with a couple prints! Some prints might be too intense so choose your prints wisely!
BE PREPARED AND BE FLEXIBLE
Though number 1 says that you should always be true to yourself and to your style, that doesn’t mean that you shouln’t go outside the box sometimes! Maybe the way the photographer wants you to pose seems a little awkward but it’ll look amazing in the photos! Now, having said this, it’s still important to remember that what you’re comfortable and not comfortable doing. If something really makes you uncomfortable don’t feel like you need to do it! Your senior pictures are about you!
Have fun! Be yourself!
Having fun during a shoot can sometimes be hard with the constant moving (or not moving) and the outfit changes. But it’s definitely something so vital to a good shoot!! Not only will the photos seem more fun and genuine, they will be! Music and bonding can always help this! Don’t be strangers with the photographer! Talk! Make jokes! Make memories!
By following these tips, shoots are fun and easy! Working with Michelle is so much fun! We’ve got so many jokes and memories that shooting with her is exciting and she always makes sure that I stay true to my own style! So, strike a pose and have fun!
Our Signature Image Box has been retired and replaced by our all new Luxury Image Box available in both 5×7 and 11×14! Of course, both sizes offer double sided prints so you’ll have lots of options!
Almost every portrait session I’ve done has resulted in clients having too many favorite images and really not a great way to display or store them. For years, storyboards and wall displays have been a favorite, but this year, when I was contemplating adding a new product, I really wanted something that was made it easy to display and change images. I’ve had image boxes before, but typically they’re for standard prints and don’t always have a place to store a USB. This product however, has the option of a false bottom, making the perfect location for the USB as well as a couple of bamboo stands! Of course that lab only offered standard prints, and I really love our 5×7 double sided silk prints, so I just combined them into a single signature keepsake product that was introduced for the Spring 2017 season. I was ecstatic!
Decorate Your Home With Custom Artwork
So far this year, it has been our most popular product! I’m all about showing off your portraits rather than leaving them to collect dust in a desk drawer. One of the most popular combinations is the 5×7 Signature Image Box complete with 2 bamboo stands, a custom USB, and 20 double sided silk prints. That’s 20 pictures! Of course your favorite is on the cover, and the USB holds any digital files that you have purchased and/or the premier slideshow which also showcases all your images set to music and ready to watch at any time.
Our 5×7 Signature Image Box comes with 2 bamboo stands as well as a custom cover, so at any time you can easily display 3 of your favorite pictures. The other pictures fit neatly in the box to avoid damage, and can be swapped out at any time. Do you have a hard time decided which pictures to display? Me too! With this option, you don’t have to choose! You can just walk by and decide to flip over an image and show the other side! Better yet, since we offer these double sided silk prints in several sizes, many of our clients are adding on 8×10 or 11×14 so images can be displayed in multiple areas of their home or office.
More Pictures Please!
And then it happened. I had a client who wanted MORE than 20 images…in fact Brandon’s mom wanted them all! I called the professional lab we use for the custom boxes to see what other sizes they offered, and now we offer an upgrade to a larger box that holds at least 20 double sided prints! Tou don’t even have to worry about making selections! Talk about a dream come true! Look at this variety!!!
Each double sided silk print has a 2mm mount so images are sturdy and won’t warp or bend.
From an artistic standpoint, I get bored easily, so as a senior photographer I’m always up for trying out new locations! I want your senior pictures to be unique and show off your personality and favorite things! Ok, so “downtown Phoenix” is quite a large area, but it really gave us a chance to take create a super fun gallery of amazing senior pictures for Mercy!
Looking for inspiration for Senior Pictures in Downtown Phoenix?
From hippie to chic, glamour to grunge, this girl has it all!! Mercy and I met just after she finished her junior year at Red Mountain High School. She was one of my models for our Downtown Gilbert Photo Shoot, so I knew she’d have a ton of great ideas! The best part is that she’s not afraid to just go for it…she’s in 100% no matter what I ask her to do! The result? Awesome senior pictures that truly show off her crazy fun and carefree personality!
Graduation pictures with personality
So yeah, cap & gown graduation pictures can be boring. Yeah, we shot a few of the standard cap & gown pictures…but this, this here, shows Mercy’s personality so much better! And it wasn’t posed or planned, we were in between shots and she was just being goofy. But as a professional photographer my job is to always be ready to catch just the right moment! Totally my favorite graduation picture ever!!!
Style Closet Accessories and Props
Our style closet has grown a lot in the last couple of years, and one of my favorite props is this antique phone. I’ve had it for years and only had the chance to use it once. Luckily Mercy loves it as much as I do, so it was definitely on her “must have” list for senior pictures! Another crazy piece from our style closet is this headband that can be used as many different accessories! It works great as a headband here, but looks amazing as a belt, scarf, bracelet, anklet, or choker!
Notice that choker? Same accessory as we used with the antique phone, but used differently for this amazing close up! All of these were taken near Heritage Square in Phoenix, which is a really great location for senior pictures!
Talk about a versatile accessory!!! It goes from a headband to a choker to a belt, and looks great no matter how you wear it!!!
Bring Your Prom Dress for Senior Pictures
I love it when my girls bring prom or homecoming dresses! This one here is a little more special because it was a $20 Goodwill dress that Mercy and her mom updated. Isn’t it absolutely gorgeous?!?!
Handmade Floral Crown
I’ve mentioned how creative Mercy is, so it was no surprise when she came with this amazing floral crown and handmade dress! While the location wasn’t anything special, when I saw these flowers I knew they’d be perfect! So while everyone else headed on to the next location, Mercy and I stayed back for just a few more shots.
Variety is the Key to Amazing Senior Pictures
I don’t know how long Mercy’s session was, but it was a blast!!! When we go out on location, the experience is meant to be as amazing as the pictures! We’re making memories as well as capturing them, and hoping to bring a lot of variety to your session. Mercy easily went from one look to another with the help of our mobile changing room, giving her a wonderful gallery filled with variety! In just a few hours we went from the Rosson House to the parking structure to the streets of Phoenix and more! With unlimited outfits and locations, we encourage you to bring as many outfits as you’d like!
FREEDOM!!! LOOK OUT WORLD, HERE I COME!!!
So this is one of my favorites, like all-time favorites ever!!! I love Mercy’s free spirit! When I told her to dance and let loose on the streets of Downtown Phoenix, she didn’t even hesitate! The overalls, the colorful tie dye top, and the sunglasses coupled with the sun flare just scream summer, freedom, and probably not adulthood. Which is just fine with me because adulting is overrated anyway! Doesn’t it just make you want to smile?!?!
Ideas for your senior pictures:
Prom or homecoming outfits
Wedges (LOVE her shoes!!!)
Cap, gown, tassel, and diploma cover: If you don’t have them, borrow them from someone who has already graduated!
Simple clothing: That basic dress lets us focus on her, not her clothing…even though she rocked it no matter what outfit she was wearing!
What not to bring:
Anxiety!!! Seriously, try not to be nervous! We’ll take care of the posing and technical stuff, and you just be your amazing self! While some of our suggestions may seem strange, there is always logic behind the craziness, and the results can be truly amazing! If you don’t look good, you’ll be the 2nd one to know and we’ll try something else!
Want to see more sessions with Mercy?
I don’t blame you! She’s super fun and I love her style! If you’re looking for ideas for posing or styling, Mercy will definitely get your creative juices flowing! Don’t believe me? Check out our Downtown Gilbert Photo Shoot!
So, you’re interested in becoming part of our Premier Model Team? Woohoo! School is in full swing and many of you have maybe already done your yearbook pictures, but now comes the real fun! This year we’re looking for just a few high school seniors and teens ages 14-18 that will exclusively represent Magical Memories by Michelle. You’ll represent our brand by showing off your pictures to friends, spreading the word about your amazing senior portrait experience. Here is all the info you need, and if you’re interested in being considered, please fill out the application below!
Once you’ve been selected, we’ll schedule a consultation. Our exclusive model team will participate in a fun, stylized group photo shoot as well as your individual portrait session. The session retainer ($150) will be waived for the group session and styling services will be included. The tentative plan is to do a fun group photo shoot in early to mid-October. Exact dates will be decided once the team has been selected. After your individual portrait session, I will meet with you and your parents for your Reveal & Design session and you’ll get to choose which images you’d like on your prints and products. You’ll be able to choose images from BOTH sessions!
You must be on time, responsible, and outgoing.
You must be active on social media to post, share, tweet, comment, and snapchat your images to promote Magical Memories by Michelle.
Refer your friends and classmates to Magical Memories by Michelle.
Provide a video review of your experience.
Attend both the group photo shoot as well as well as your individual session & be on time.
You must agree to EXCLUSIVELY represent Magical Memories by Michelle for the 2017/2018 school year.
At least one parent must accompany you to your consultation where we’ll discuss your session. You’ll have the chance to view product samples, sign the portrait contract, and pay your session fee.
Schedule your portrait session for October or November 2017.
WHAT YOU GET:
Participation in a free stylized group portrait session
A full Magical Memories by Michelle portrait session
In person consultation with Michelle
Your own Reveal & Design session to view your images and purchase your prints and products
Personalized mobile app of select watermarked, web-sized files to share online
The opportunity to earn gift cards to your favorite stores as well as free prints and products by referring your friends
At your Reveal & Design session, you’ll receive an additional 10% off your prints, products, or collections purchased that day
If this sounds like fun to you, please talk to your parents, then contact us to get started! We’ll begin contacting everyone via phone, text, or email to let you know whether or not you’ve been selected.
Even though I’m based in Arizona, we have family in Fort Collins making it easy to provide professional portraits in the beautiful communities of Fort Collins and Loveland as well as other Northern Colorado cities. Last year I met Janene and we worked together for their family portrait session (which was amazing, btw!). She mentioned then that Brandon would soon be a senior, so fast forward to this spring, she asked if I’d be back in the area to do Brandon’s senior pictures! Um, yes!!! Family vacation and fun senior session at the same time! Talk about win-win! Brandon will be graduation from Resurrection Christian School, Class of 2018!
Senior Pictures for Guys
Janene and I discussed what types of things Brandon was interested in and she created a small Pinterest board so I could get keep track of her ideas. Since I really enjoy working with senior guys, many of them choose to bring their cars, or at least their dad’s car. So we started off near their home on Boyd Lake. The ’67 Camaro paired with his letter jacket created the perfect look for senior pictures! Since this was his top pick for his yearbook picture, and the yearbook requires that the image be in portrait orientation, I just modified it slightly to fit the criteria.
Yes, we love including dogs in senior pictures!
And then there’s Kody!!! Maybe you’ve noticed that I love dogs, but this was a little more special. Just after their family session last year, they had to put their beloved dog to sleep. We all know that we can’t replace our furbabies, but when Janene first shared pictures of Kody, I was in love! Brandon’s new puppy was just precious! Fast forward a year later, and Kody is just as precious but definitely a little bigger. Because their time with us is never long enough, I’m a huge believer in having pets be a part of your photo session.
Senior Pictures for Football Players
Soon we were off to Fossil Ridge High School. Since Brandon is a football player at RCS, I was really hoping he’d want to incorporate that into his senior pictures. While he didn’t want to do the full uniform, the jeans worked great with his jersey and helmet. We used the field at Fossil Ridge High School since RCS plays there sometimes. We had problems finding a football field that didn’t have soccer nets attached to the goal posts. Never imagined that being an issue, but we checked a few other fields, but they all had soccer nets attached. Thankfully Fossil Ridge didn’t!
Below is a before and after of what you see vs what I see. I knew I wanted a grungy black & white image for one of Brandon’s football pictures. With a little creativity and artistic knowledge, the difference is amazing!
So this is one of my favorite pictures from Brandon’s session, and it was one of his favorites too! So we turned it into a beautiful metal with a quote. It isn’t just about pictures, it’s about meaningful artwork for your home.
This is the perfect quote for Brandon. It is truly amazing to think about his future and all the wonderful things God has planned for him!
I asked Janene to snap a quick picture of the metal, which is even more gorgeous in person!
Downtown Fort Collins Senior Pictures
As a Fort Collins senior photographer, one of my favorite places is Downtown Fort Collins! It has so much character and tons of great locations for senior pictures! We walked through the alley, crossed College, and we’re greeted by quite a few people who thought it was a great idea for a photo shoot! In face, we need to go back in a few years…one of the men offered to buy Brandon a beer when he turns 21! See, it isn’t just about the final products, but the memories that happen during the photo shoot too! As we were walking, I noticed the pier in front of Drunken Monkey, which I loved for senior pictures…even though perhaps the Drunken Monkey doesn’t really send the best message to teenagers! Thankfully Janene is a great sport and was actually thinking of this location before I mentioned it! Great minds!
Every mom loves close-ups of her kids, and sometimes the serious face is just a winner! Loved the look of Brandon’s shirt with the sleeves rolled up exposing the plaid, and the color works great with all the brick in the downtown area.
I wasn’t sure where I wanted to go next, so Brandon and I just started wandering and planned to have Janene go back for the car and pick us up. It was nice to talk to Brandon for awhile and hear that he was actually having FUN!!! What good is a photo shoot for senior pictures if you can’t have some fun? One of the last shots of the day was back a couple of blocks. I knew the beautiful trees would make the perfect backdrop for one last shot with his letter jacket. Even better, it is the perfect cover for his Signature Image Box that holds all of prints!
Ideas for your senior pictures:
Your dog, including treats, toys, and a bag to clean up messes
Sports gear and accessories
Basic jeans, so you can swap shirts easily and still have a variety of looks