It’s Always Sunny in Arizona: Grab Your Shades
There are tons of ideas out there for your senior pictures, so there’s no reason you shouldn’t have the photo shoot of your dreams to wrap up your high school career! From fun and funny to serious and traditional, we can put together a portrait package that encompasses everything you love, all you’ve accomplished, AND add a little bit of flair and personality at the same time.
Hot Trends, Cool Looks
Summertime calls for serious shades, and when you live in Arizona sunnies not only add to your look, they are a necessity. One of the things everyone is having tons of fun with in this year’s senior picture photo shoots is finding new and creative ways to show off their sunglass-wearing style.
Guys, this goes for you too! That super cool vibe just oozes from these handsome senior guys when you choose the right sunglasses for your photo shoot!
Aviators, wayfarers, retro, d-frame…take your pick! They all look great! Check out the list and see what’s hot for the summer of 2021!
Thinking about sporting shades in your senior pictures? Here are some fun ideas to get you started…but the best part is that creativity is never-ending, so go ahead and shoot for the moon (or the sun!) with your very own concepts. I love hearing thoughts and ideas from clients because that helps me plan the perfect photo shoot for you! Here’s what you can have fun incorporating sunglasses into your photographs:
- The Standard – Older generations may have thought the traditional, on-the-face way of wearing sunglasses was the ONLY way to do things. And sure, that’s absolutely acceptable! Just look at these fab photos of seniors rocking their shades and looking cool and chic under the Arizona sun. These cute daisy classes are from my exclusive Style Closet along with many other styles.
- The Flirty Peek – Choose your favorite pair of shades…then slide them sassily down your nose until you can just peek over the top to give the camera a flirty look. You’ll get the full effect of sunglasses, AND everyone will get to see your gorgeous eyes, too! Yep, both the heart shaped and “hello boys” sunnies are from my exclusive Style Closet along with many other styles.
- The Head Prop – Hey, it might be sunny, but you’re too cool and your peepers are too gorgeous to keep those things on your face! Do the top-of-the-head prop for a casual, relaxed look, especially when we move to a shady area or have your eyes turned away from the sun.
- The Whimsical Twist – Look pensive or daydreamy when you gaze at the scenery while twirling a stylish pair of shades. Or prop them on your knee, beside a cup of coffee, or on a stack of books for a super studious look.
- The Intentional Reflection – Sunnies with a great reflection are awesome for intentionally picking up images you want to show. Want to reflect on your grad cap or the track you run on? A professional photographer can angle the lenses so they pick up exactly the images you want to capture on the lenses–a super artistic way of “reflecting” and looking back on your high school career.
- The Writing on the Lenses – Hey, grad, 2022 looks great on you! Keep it simple and write your grad year on the lenses of your sunglasses in window paint. Then use them as a prop on a table or hold them to show off your major accomplishment.
Ok, now it’s your turn! What kind of creative ideas can you come up with to show off your casual style using sunglasses as a prop?
Things to Remember
Sunglasses are super fun and fashionable–and they’re a stylish accessory to add to your graduation pictures, but there are a few things to remember when we’re taking your senior pictures:
- Fingerprints are not friends. Whatever sunglasses (or glasses) you wear for your professional photo shoot, make sure the lenses are clean and free of debris and fingerprints. Sunnies will instantly draw attention to your eyes, so you want your glasses to be gleaming and spotless. (Of course, I can remove and correct things we don’t want in the image, but you’ll be much happier and feel more confident if you start off with squeaky-clean lenses.)
- Reflections are fun, but a little bit of a good thing goes a long way. If your sunglasses are SUPER-reflective, you might want to reconsider the style so we don’t end up with overly distracting images that appear as glare in your lenses. This can also be corrected by muting those reflections after the fact, but it’s something to keep in mind as you plan.
- Try a few different pairs. Find a style and shape that looks great on your face! You might even want to consider lighter color lenses that allow your eyes to show through for your senior pictures. These types of sunglasses can add color, dimension, and style without blocking your eyes entirely.
You Do You
Your senior picture photo shoot is all about what makes you feel amazing about accomplishing something you’ve been working on for a long time! It’s all about feeling confident and showing off the things you love, your personality, your dreams, and what you’re planning to do next.
This is your moment, so wear the shades, rock that jacket you love, choose your favorite hangout as a photo venue. It’s your time, and these are your memories.
The future’s bright, grad…and you definitely need to wear shades!
5 Posing Tips for Guys
If your senior portrait session will be your first professional shoot, you’re probably wondering what you should be doing in front of the camera. Of course I’ll be there to guide you through your photo session, but sometimes a few tips before your shoot will help calm your nerves and be sure that you’re 100% camera ready!
Here are some simple tips to help get you started.
- Consider Your Best Features.
If you had to choose, what are your best features? What features would you like to accentuate in your senior photos? This could be your jawline, your chest, or your shoulders. Whatever features you would like to accentuate should be closest to the camera. Guys, if you’re looking for a nice, strong pose, always keep your shoulders square to the camera.
- Natural is Better.
When it comes to posing for your senior photos, it’s best to stick to poses that look natural. Poses that have you sitting down or leaning on one knee are just some examples of what looks good and not forced in front of the camera. Another great tip (and you’ll hear me say this over and over) just laugh! Give me a funny laugh, a fake laugh, an evil laugh…they all work!
- Don’t Worry about Your Hands.
A common complaint among senior guys who get in front of a camera for the first time is that they don’t know what to do with their hands. Don’t worry about hand placement too much. Once you get into it, your hands will naturally find a place in your pockets, at your sides, or folded in your arms. Do what feels comfortable to you. Still stuck? Try rubbing your hands together, checking your watch, holding sunglasses, or fixing your cuffs!
- Don’t Be Afraid to Move.
I actually prefer it when you move around and it doesn’t have to be big movements either. Simply moving your head around can add some variety to your senior shots. Again, I’ll guide you but if you feel nervous and find yourself stiffening your head or jaw, just take a deep breath and try again. Move your shoulders, take a few steps, change your face or look away from the camera.
- Have Fun.
You will always get the best shots when you approach your senior portrait session with a relaxed mindset. You are here to celebrate an important milestone, so have some fun! These photos are meant to highlight your personality after all so just be yourself! Don’t hold back, be goofy, tell jokes, rev that engine, and show your stuff!
If you want to be extra prepared, head over to a site such as Pinterest to see how my senior guys pose. You can also browse you my website for inspiration too.
Dear Mom & Dad: A Guide to Senior Portraits for Parents
For most parents, senior portraits are a distant memory. Two or three decades ago, we may have had the chance to change into a second outfit or even throw on our school jacket to change things up for senior pictures, but things have changed a lot since then.
Now vs. Then
The sky’s the limit for today’s seniors, and creativity is the name of the game when it comes to planning a senior photo shoot. Professional photographers are in tune with client needs, and they encourage individuality more than ever before. This gives graduates more opportunities to stand out and and make sure their personality really shines in their photographs. From traditional sessions in a studio to trendy urban photo shoots, the opportunities are endless.
Your kiddo has been working their entire school career at whatever drives them and inspires them. Whether it’s academics, sports, music, art, theater, or all of the above, their senior pictures are the perfect chance for them to showcase their unique talents, passions, and personality. Plus, you’ll have keepsake memories of their senior year that will last forever! (The right photographer will also make sure you have plenty of images to display around the house to comfort you when they leave for college!)
Don’t Get Overwhelmed
It’s easy to look at the available options and become overwhelmed with the choices for senior pictures, but if you focus on these 5 Super-Simple Tips, you’ll be cool and collected—and you’ll end up with senior pictures that highlight the very best of your soon-to-be graduate!
Can you believe we’re already talking about 2022 graduation? Let’s get this photo party started! Don’t get overwhelmed; stay on track with these 5 tips to ensure you get the fabulous senior pictures you and your teen are looking for:
- Make a Note of the Yearbook Deadline
Knowing the yearbook deadline encourages you to schedule a senior session in advance instead of putting it off until the last minute. Depending on your requirements, a senior photo session will start with a yearbook portrait followed by creative shots that are unique to your child. In most instances, it takes at least two weeks to receive the final images, so be sure to plan accordingly. Oh, and before you schedule your yearbook photo shoot, read this! The school requires a pic of your teen for the yearbook, but did you know that you don’t have to use their photographer?
- Keep Your Senior’s Schedule in Mind
You already know how frantic your kiddo’s schedule can be. Before you schedule a session, sit down with your senior to discuss a good time. When they are just as involved as you are in their photo shoot, your teen will be even more eager to make sure everything turns out perfectly! Even the specific time of day matters when scheduling a senior session. Ideally, for outdoor portrait sessions, you’ll want to take photos just after sunrise or just before sunset, as this is when we can catch that beautiful golden sunlight. The specific time varies throughout the year based on the sunset time. As a general rule, we’ll start your session about two hours prior to sunset, which means in January or February we start around 3:30-4:00, but in April we’ll start around 5:00. In the Arizona summer, most sessions take place at sunrise, which helps us beat the heat and provides some gorgeous images!
- Sports, Concerts, and other Events
Keeping schedules in mind, you and your teen are the best people to assess your schedule. If they play baseball, do your best to schedule a fall session instead of waiting until spring when there will be daily practices and games. Football players, swimmers, and divers typically compete in the fall, so a spring session could work better. If your teen participates in band, orchestra, or theater, think about when those performances will be and schedule far enough in advance so it won’t be stressful.
- Compromise with Your Teen
You may have a specific idea about the photos you would like to see, but this is about your teenager and what makes them feel confident and comfortable. Most senior sessions allow for several outfit changes, so use this as an opportunity to find a happy balance between what you want and what your senior wants. Be patient and hear them out before you dismiss their ideas. Their portraits should represent who they are and what they love. I make it a point to shoot images that both parents and teens love! I don’t expect you to to always prefer the same image, so I shoot a variety to make everyone happy.
- Encourage Sharing and Ask Questions
Prior to a senior session, get your child to open up about their passions, hopes, and dreams. This information will help guide the shoot and ensure the most authentic photos. Knowing what your senior wants these photos to represent will also guide their outfit and location choices. Don’t forget to include your senior in the search for a photographer. After all, a photographer’s style needs to be one of the first things you look for when choosing a senior portrait photographer.
If you follow these easy tips, you’ll get started in plenty of time and ensure you have a stress-free senior portrait session for your teen. It’s all about planning and preparation.
The Good News
Once you’re booked and on the calendar, at Magical Memories by Michelle, you’ll never miss a deadline or a step you need to complete. I’ll keep you on track and make sure you and your teen are prepared for the big day! From How-To guides to What to Wear and Style Guides, you’ll get plenty of expert advice and insights. And don’t forget about the exclusive Style Closet! (Worried about what to wear or how to accessorize? Not with the Style Closet at your disposal!)
When you select your professional photographer, be sure you’re getting the clarity and guidance you need from the very beginning, and you’ll have a fun and stress-free experience with your teen!
Top Senior Photographer
Choosing a professional portrait photographer for your senior pictures is no easy task! There are literally thousands of photographers out there with a wide range of experience and services, and it can be overwhelming. One thing that sets me apart is the fact that I specialize in teens and seniors. I love this age and I love celebrating this special time in their lives! I feel like it gives me the opportunity to really help their confidence and self image. Have you seen my tagline? “Building confidence one picture at a time.” And it’s true! Teens are always so hard on themselves, so one goal for my senior photo shoots is to make sure that my seniors feel extra special. They get my undivided attention for several hours, with no rush. Because I’m not watching the clock, we can change outfits, switch back, move locations, and try different looks all without the stress of trying to fit everything into a 1-2 hour photo shoot. Did you know that most of my senior portrait sessions last 2.5-3.5 hours? Sometimes even a bit longer if we’re doing night shots!
What Happens During Your Senior Photo Shoot
Adrienne, like many teen girls, was excited about having her senior pictures taken but of course was still nervous about being in front of the camera. Her mom, Laurel, loved the fact that we wouldn’t be rushed, but she too was a little nervous. It’s totally normal and perfectly OK to be uncertain about this process! I deal with teenagers all the time, in fact my own two kids are Class of 2019 and Class of 2021. I’m used to their quirks, eye rolls, and opinions. How do I break through that teenage wall? All of my portrait sessions include an in-person consultation. I believe that plays a huge part in the final images! After all, I wouldn’t expect anyone to be comfortable in front of the camera after meeting just a few minutes prior to their session!
At Adrienne’s in-person consultation, we met and discussed what she was looking for and even shared some photos of her ideas with me. That sometimes worries me a little, because it requires specific outfits and lighting in order to make it work. Every photographer has their own style. ! But this time…magic! Adrienne had just the right outfits, shoes, and accessories to be sure her senior pictures would be flawless. She started out with this cute dress with just the right amount of color, and since we had a gorgeous sky that day, the tall grass made a gorgeous backdrop! Her makeup was flawless and her long curls gave her a great look for her senior pictures! The sunglasses paired with a more serious expression, helped add variety to her final gallery.
Senior Pictures at the Lake
While it looks sunny and gorgeous, like a typical Arizona day, it was actually very chilly! The day of Adrienne’s photo shoot it was in the low 60s and for us AZ peeps who are used to warm weather it was COLD!!! And yet she splashed, twirled, and waded in the lake as if it was a beautiful spring day! Then to add to the look, I got some more artistic shots playing with the sun flare which turned out to be some of Adrienne’s favorites.
Creating Artistic Senior Pictures
As a professional photographer in Chandler, I see beyond just what the eye sees. I have a vision even before shooting the image, I know what can be retouched, and what will really make an image special. This one, which is another favorite, was made into a beautiful metal portrait with a quote. Yes, everything is custom designed so we were able to use a quote that Adrienne’s dad uses for her. It has special meaning to their family, so it goes from being “just a picture” to being a beautiful piece of artwork in their home that they will cherish forever.
In fact, did you know that this portrait session right here is what inspired me to grow my Style Closet? It’s true! This was one of those sessions that I knew had to be styled perfectly with the white boho dress and accessories. Not too long after this, I had many requests for images like this…but as I said, the styling can make or break the image. Can you imaging this same image with a girl in a bright colorful romper? How about jeans and a t-shirt? Some outfits work and some definitely won’t! So my Style Closet began with hats and accessories then expanded to included flowy dresses for senior girls who wanted to have portraits taken by the water.
Downtown Chandler Senior Pictures
With all the outfits Adrienne had, we were able to create a gorgeous gallery with lots of expressions that really show her personality. She loves to write music and brought her guitar along, so she looks stunning sitting on the waterfall in the sun. As an added surprise, I put the lyrics to her favorite song in her Premier Slideshow. We used a hat from our Style Closet, tried out many different locations, and when the sun went down, we kept going! Check out the variety here!!! And this isn’t her whole gallery! I see many photographers who give final galleries with images that are very similar. My job is to take only the best of the best, artistically edit and professionally retouch each photo by hand, then spend time at the Reveal and Design Session to help you select your favorites and design your artwork! It is a complete boutique experience that caters to seniors and their families.
Consultation to Plan Your Senior Pictures
As I mentioned, I offer in-person consultations with every client prior to booking. This gives us a chance to meet and make sure my services fit your needs. You’ll have time to ask questions and see lots of examples from senior girls just like you! Mom & Dad will have the chance to check out the pricing and packages so they can get some ideas of what products will work best for them. Though there aren’t any minimum requirements, most of our clients choose to spend $1500-$3500 on their senior portrait experience. If you know Adrienne, ask her about her senior portraits back then…and then ask about our plans for this soon-to-be college grad and her next graduation photo shoot! I’d love to meet you, so get in touch and let’s make your senior year a time to remember with an amazing senior portrait experience!