Coming up on 10 years as a senior portrait photographer, I wanted to share some of my favorite gymnastics pictures. Kenzie Douglas is 2014 graduate of Queen Creek high school and I thought it would be fabulous to share some of her accomplishments since then!
I asked Kenzie’s mom Laura for a quick update, since I knew she was now a college graduate and had started law school! I’m so proud of her! I’ve actually known Kenzie since she was about 14 or 15 years old, when she was on the same gymnastics team as our daughter. It is absolutely incredible to watch my seniors grow up and be so successful!
Kenzie had a very successful D1 gymnastics full ride scholarship at BYU. She graduated in April of 2018 with a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science. She is now attending Cleveland-Marshall College of Law at Cleveland State University. When she’s not at the library she enjoys spending time with her new rescue dog, Theodore Roosevelt, aka Teddy. Her future goals will hopefully be doing something in the political world.
Gymnastics Senior Pictures
These silhouettes were actually shot on a different day that Kenzie’s senior photo shoot, but are still some of my absolute favorites!
While Tumbleweed Park is often used as a more rustic location, it doesn’t have to be! It worked great for Kenzie using one of her favorite tops and adorable Miss Me jeans!
Custom Portrait Products
I created this beautiful storyboard for Kenzie which included a great closeup of her favorite boots.
Ideas for your gymnastics senior pictures:
Want to see more gymnastics pictures?
Check out Briana’s senior portrait session! She’s a 2019 graduate from Hamilton High School and we did some some awesome gymnastics pictures during her session!
Does your guy love the idea of senior pictures? Or is he a little hesitant? Or is he doing it just for mom? I’ve worked with senior guys that are all of these things! In fact, I often have more senior guys on my schedule than I do girls, and I love it! Both senior guys and senior girls are fun in their own way, but once my senior guys figure out that I’m truly invested in their thoughts and ideas, they have a blast at their senior portrait session!
4 Tips to Help Guys Love Senior Pictures
1. Communication Before Senior Pictures
It is not uncommon for me to communicate directly with my teens to hear what they have to say, and trust me, what they say (or don’t say) tells me a lot even before our photo shoot. If a guy has short answers, he’s maybe just doing it for mom. He’ll cooperate fully and maybe give me an idea or two. Then some guys tell me they just don’t have any ideas. So I throw a few thoughts their way, maybe text some pictures of other senior guys’ portrait sessions, and make sure they’ve taken a few minutes to fill out our Senior Portrait Questionnaire. Do they like sports? Music? Cars? As much as I want to hear “YES” I also need to hear “NO!” I want him to tell me what loves, what looks fun, and yes, even what he hates! Together we will make this a great experience and get those awesome portraits for Mom and Grandma!
Matthew definitely had some ideas of his own! He brought along many of his favorite shirts and even had one specific idea that I’ll share later.
2. Include His Favorite Sport or Hobby
Matthew is a varsity soccer player at Hamilton High School in Chandler. He also plays club soccer, so I asked him if he wanted to include this in his portrait session. I asked rather than assume. If he had said no, I might have had to persuade him a little more, but thankfully he was more than willing to bring his soccer gear along. Before his photo shoot I had sent him a few ideas so he’d be prepared ahead of time and know that he’d be running showing me his moves! Of course I wanted one or two “nice” shots in his uniform but I was much more interested in capturing his action shots!
3. Bring His Dog
I can’t say this enough! If you have a furry friend that has been in your family for years, it is sad to think they might not be with you when you graduate from college. Do you have any portraits of you and your dog? Well, Cooper is Matthew’s dog. He got him when he was 7 years old.
We found a great field in Chandler at Tumbleweed Park that was actually perfect for Cooper to run and play. All dogs are different, so we do what is best and safest for each one. Some dogs are great listeners. Let’s just say that Cooper wasn’t one of them. Often I want to take off the dog’s collar, but Matthew’s mom, Holly, said Cooper was a runner. So the collar stays on! But just letting him run a little and having his favorite toy, it was easy to get these priceless pictures! Yes, I always try to get some of the dog alone. Trust me, the day will come when you’ll be glad you have it.
At one point Cooper accidentally slipped out of his collar and Matthew and his mom Holly had to chase him down! While originally this was an outtake, it ended up being a keeper! And then once we got Cooper surrounded, I was able to catch this adorable playful image of him before we got his collar on him again.
This is oh so important! LISTEN to him!!! I’m not sure I’ve ever had a guy with as many of his own ideas! Matthew included lots of his favorite t-shirts as well as a couple of nice shirts and ties. One of the things he mentioned was a specific headshot that a friend of his had done in France. As he tried explaining it to me, he told me that it was cropped in close, monochromatic, and it looked like he was in deep thought. He couldn’t find the picture though, so he sent me this:
Um, it’s a monkey, which is why I have nicknamed Matthew “Monkey Boy.” I laughed so hard after his text! It caught me by complete surprise and it’s just one of those things I’ll never forget! At the end of his session we were in Downtown Chandler. Normally I don’t show the back of my camera too much, but in this case we were going for something so specific, it really was best to show him what the images looked like. After just a few shots he was able to nail the look he wanted and here is the final result!
As an artist, this is what it’s all about. Picture something in your head and make it a reality! And it’s even better when the idea comes from the teenager himself! Thankfully he looks more like Matthew and less like a monkey!
Helping Guys Prepare For Senior Pictures
Iron Your Clothes (Photoshop just isn’t the same as an iron, I promise!)
Hang Clothes on Hangers
Trim Your Nails
Have Matching Accessories (shoes & socks for each outfit change)
Looking for more tips for adding your favorite sport to your senior pictures? You won’t want to miss this article!