Chandler Senior Photos | Guys, Football, & Cars…What’s Not to Love?

Chandler Senior Photos | Guys, Football, & Cars…What’s Not to Love?

Choosing a Location for Senior Pictures

Right from the beginning, Jalen and his parents had some great ideas for senior pictures. We had discussed several downtown locations as well as the possibility to using the field at Basha High School to include some football pictures. So the first question you need to ask yourself is “which pictures and locations are most important?” Some locations, such as the football field, are best when they’re at your school, therefore choosing other locations in the area is usually the best idea.

They had also discussed the possibility of using a Lamborghini for Jalen’s senior pictures, which of course I thought was a spectacular idea! Guys & cars, it’s a great fit for senior pictures and of course the guys (and dads!) love them!

Day One: Disaster Strikes

We’d had everything planned for a few weeks, Jalen had his outfits, the Lamborghini was available, and so we decided to start at Basha High School and get some football pictures. I met Cathy and Jalen at Basha high school, then planned to have Warren join us with the Lamborghini. That’s when it started to fall apart. Literally within 10 minutes we found out the Lamborghini in fact, was not available that day. Strike 1. I could see the disappointment in their faces, not to mention mine! But we decided to continue and possibly get the Lamborghini another day. We headed the office at Basha High School to ask permission to use the track. Professional photographers always ask permission when shooting on any property! Well, it turns out the track had been redone and was off limits for at least another week. Are you kidding me? 20 minutes in and our plans had completely unraveled!

My suggestion was to continue on to some other locations and let’s get started anyway. Then if necessary, we can always come back to for football pictures and hopefully the car would be available too.

Senior Pictures at the Lake: Chandler, AZ

Jalen started out in one of his favorite t-shirts and jeans. You need to be comfortable and look like you for your senior pictures! Love it when guys add sunglasses to their look!

Chandler Senior Photos of Guys by the Lake

If you’ve ever been out shooting with me you know that “just one more shot” or “ok, I’m done” is something I say often but never mean. And here’s the perfect example why sometimes you really just do need one more shot! We were leaving the park and this normally average desert spot just looked perfect. I wasn’t sure why until I we tried a few poses. Then it was obvious! Simple shirt and jeans, sunglasses, and a bench…it’s definitely a favorite!

Chandler Senior Photos Desert

Tumbleweed Park in Chandler, AZ

The old truck is always a favorite for guys’ senior pictures. It can bring an urban, rustic, or country vibe depending on what outfit you choose.

Chandler Senior Photos Old Truck

Chandler Senior Photos Old Truck

Moms Dream of Getting Senior Pictures of Their Sons

Don’t deny it, every mom loves those happy smiling pictures! But when you have boys, sometimes it is a little more difficult. It’s my job to get teens to loosen up and giggle a little, and a fake laugh goes a long way! And because it is just so goofy, they end up with a genuine laugh! Makes the perfect senior picture, doesn’t it?

Chandler Senior Photos Guys Smile

Senior Pictures for Football Players

Since we really didn’t know what the future would hold, and Jalen had all of his football gear, I decided to get some pictures in his jersey. This is one of my favorite locations to get gorgeous sun flare! If you like this look and the sun cooperates (which in Arizona, it often does), then it’s definitely something we can talk about for your senior pictures too!

Chandler Senior Photos Football Sun Flare

When the lighting wasn’t exactly what I wanted, I decided to go with a more artistic look. This image was actually taken in a gorgeous green, sunny are at Tumbleweed park, only a few feet from the previous image. But I wanted something more intense for this shot.

Artistic shot of

Senior Guys: What to Wear for Senior Photos

If you’re having trouble deciding what to wear for senior pictures, definitely bring a variety of outfits! Don’t be afraid to dress it up a little and get this awesome look! Jalen just looks so sharp in this button down shirt, but then paired with simple jeans, it fits perfect in an urban area of Downtown Chandler.

Senior Pictures What to Wear for Guys

Downtown Chandler After Dark

When I saw Jalen’s tie and suspenders, I was in heaven and knew exactly the look I wanted! When the sun went down, we pulled out the lights and just kept shooting! The results? Well, you can decided but I think they’re awesome!

Downtown Chandler Senior Photos Night

Chandler Senior Photos Art Black & White

Chandler Senior Photos Night Guys

Ideas for your senior pictures:

  • Bring your car or rent a fun sports car
  • Bring your jersey and sports gear
  • Don’t be afraid to dress up a little

Want to see more Day 2 with Jalen?

Of course you do! Yes, we did go out for a 2nd day once the track was done and the Lamborghini was available. Go check them out!

Guys Senior Pictures | Help Your Son Love Senior Pictures | Chandler, AZ

Guys Senior Pictures | Help Your Son Love Senior Pictures | Chandler, AZ

Chandler Senior Pictures

Tyler recently graduated from Desert Ridge High School in Mesa, AZ.  Moms, are you longing to have amazing senior pictures of your son but he’s not quite as interested? That’s totally normal, but I haven’t had a senior guy yet that hasn’t admitted to having fun once the session is over! Not kidding…they have ALL done very well and enjoyed it once they found out they weren’t gonna be sitting in one spot, rushing to get a few pictures. Most importantly, once they found that I want their thoughts and opinions, I want them to enjoy this!

Moms don’t seem to get a lot of opportunities to get good portraits of their boys, and having a teenage son myself, I knew how much Tyler’s mom, Tina, wanted amazing pictures before Tyler graduated from high school.  When we discussed Tyler’s interests at his consultation, he sat quietly and didn’t really have any opinions. He was willing to go along with whatever we wanted (of course) but really wasn’t that into it. Until…I asked about his car! Wow, that was a fast switch and he was instantly engaged once I started showing him pictures of other senior guys with their cars, dogs, and other ways to cater to what these young men really want. Believe it or not, most of them really do want awesome senior pictures!

Senior Pictures for the Guys

Most guys, once they start looking at sample images and products, do find things they like. For Tyler, he didn’t care as long as we used his car. But more on that later. During their consultation, I found out about their sweet boy, Baxter. If you’re a dog lover I don’t have to tell you how important it is to get pictures of your kids with your dogs! After all, by senior year many of them have grown up with their dog and have a special bond. Well, Baxter is definitely a huge part of their family! It is often easiest to take pictures with your dog first, and then either drop them off at home or have someone that can pick the dog up so they don’t have to tag along with us for the rest of the session. When you bring your dog along, it helps to bring some treats to keep their attention, but honestly Baxter was just so easy he didn’t need it!

As much as I hate to be reminded, these little guys aren’t going to be with us forever. I always try to get one picture of just the dog so you’ll have a nice keepsake. And of course, Baxter brought his smile! Isn’t he seriously the cutest thing? I’m extra lucky. Not only do I get to go out on the town for senior pictures, but sometimes I get to play with dogs too!

Bringing Your Pup? Be Flexible!

Having never met Baxter before, I didn’t know how he’d react or how long it would take to get pictures. In this case, it only took about 30 minutes or so, and since we had lots of time, we decided to head to Downtown Chandler. Tina & Tyler took Baxter home and I began making my way towards Chandler along the surface streets. After all, you never know what you’re gonna find! And there it was…the perfect, east-facing, empty lot! It was exactly what I needed to Tyler’s car! Or at least some of his car pictures So I texted Tina and let her know where I was, and I got set up so I was ready when they arrived. This is why I ask my clients to be flexible.

I rarely have an exact plan until I see exactly what the lighting is and what outfits were chosen. That was the case today! Tyler was excited about his car, but he didn’t tell me it was a Dodge Charger!!!! Go ahead, leave out that important bit of information! Being a huge Nightwing fan, he wanted to be sure we captured the back of his car. Oh, and did I mention he had a matching Nightwing shirt?


Different Expressions

Since the lighting was so amazing, I got some awesome shots that I knew Mom would love! Tyler has an amazing serious face, so we talked about how to pull it off without looking angry. One tip is to part your lips just a little and try to turn up the corners of your mouth too. Another great tip is to use your imagination! This works great for all expressions! Pretend your on the beach, flirt with your girlfriend, or think of how you feel on the last day of school. And if that doesn’t work, just throw fruit! Yes, I’m somewhat serious. Usually I’m just playing, but Mom wasn’t!

Backstory: One of my first sessions years ago, like 2010-2011, we were near a grapefruit tree and our session was pretty much over. The kids were little and started jumping trying to grab the grapefruits from the trees, began collecting them, and I became the juggling goofball. I got some fun pictures from that session, some due to tossing grapefruits back and forth. Have you ever tried to catch a grapefruit while holding a camera? Not an easy task! Ever since then, when I have someone that won’t smile or needs to loosen up a little, I threaten to throw a grapefruit at them.

Turns out, there was a grapefruit tree in this empty lot and Mom took advantage! I don’t recall which one, but one of these smiles was caught just as a grapefruit went whizzing over Tyler’s shoulder, courtesy of Tina! I’ll do just about anything to put teens at ease, and sometimes that means catching them by surprise with something as silly as a piece of fruit.

More Fun with the Dodge Charger

Oh the perfection of it all!! This is it…the perfect look, the sunglasses, the sports car, the lighting, the headlights, the location, it just all came together! I managed to get this amazing shot that has quickly become a favorite! Of course what I’m sure we’ll all remember was me crunching up against the wall of the parking garage and needing just a little more space. So I leaned back and smacked my head on the concrete wall. I don’t remember it hurting because, well, I got the picture!!! Everything else is irrelevant, right?

At your Reveal & Design Session, you’ll sometimes see the same image in both color and black & white. That was the case with this picture since I loved it so much. And I still can’t choose between the two!

Unlimited poses and not having a specific set time for my sessions allows us plenty of time to have fun and get a little creative for senior pictures! When the sun went down after Tyler’s session, we didn’t stop! Since he was part of the choir at Desert Ridge, he brought along his suit and we got some fun night time shots!

Downtown Phoenix Senior Pictures  |  Volleyball Pictures  |  Lizzy

Downtown Phoenix Senior Pictures | Volleyball Pictures | Lizzy

Downtown Phoenix Senior Pictures

Lizzy’s senior portraits fit the definition of “go with the flow.” It seemed like everything was falling apart…until it wasn’t. As of 30 minutes before her session, we still were unsure of the exact location. Her hair and makeup appointment was moved, so she ended up being closer to Phoenix that I had expected. I met Lizzy and her mom at the salon, and it just happened that there was a Starbucks across the street, and Lizzy cannot exist without coffee!


So yeah, she asked if we could stop and Starbucks to grab a drink before heading out to Phoenix. Of course! Only they didn’t know that I thought it would be a great way to kick off her senior portraits! I checked with the manager first to be sure it was ok to take pictures there. That is incredibly important when you’re on private property or any business establishment, please ASK before you assume it is OK to use their location.

Pet Peeve: As a professional photographer, it makes me crazy that people don’t do this and then we all lose out. We’ve had a few beautiful developments that used to allow us to use their grounds for portraits. All they required was a single sheet of paperwork listing your business and contact info, and they’d give you gate codes and access. However, too many people didn’t ask, went in uninvited, and now photography is no longer allowed.

So anyways, I need to mention Lizzy’s height. Yes, she’s tall, exactly 6 feet tall so I definitely needed a ladder. I wanted to show off her height so we chose this gorgeous dress and heals as her first outfit.

Senior Pictures at Starbucks

Phoenix Senior Pictures at Starbucks

Movement and Fun

Headshots are always a staple at a senior portrait session, but what about showing the fun carefree side? Sliding down a handrail? No problem! Though I wasn’t sure how it would turn out, it ended up being one of her mom’s favorite pictures!

Fun Phoenix Senior Pictures

Headshots, Hair Flips and Floppy Hats

It’s almost a requirement for senior pictures! That’s why we have a Style Closet, and it’s always growing. Despite that, our black floppy hat gets used for almost every senior girl! Even those that say they <ahem> don’t look good in hats. Sure, whatever. I’ll let you be the judge of that. Lizzy ended up loving them, which is the important part! Did I mention how envious I am of her gorgeous long hair?!?!

Downtown Phoenix Senior Pictures

Include Your Sports!

I love it when my seniors choose to include their high school sports for senior pictures, and this was even more exciting because she was my first volleyball player!  Lizzy has been part of Dobson High School’s volleyball team throughout her career.  It turns out these became even more important in the weeks to follow since Lizzy’s season was cut short due to a foot injury.

Senior Girl Volleyball Pictures