When is the Best Time to Schedule Senior Pictures? | A Guide to Senior Portraits for Parents | Phoenix Photographer

When is the Best Time to Schedule Senior Pictures? | A Guide to Senior Portraits for Parents | Phoenix Photographer

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!)

Print Senior Pictures Mesa, AZ

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:

  1. 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?
  2. 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!
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.

Planning Senior Pictures Mesa, AZ

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 | Specializing in Senior Pictures | Chandler, AZ

Top Senior Photographer | Specializing in Senior Pictures | Chandler, AZ

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.

Top Senior Photographer in Chandler Arizona

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 her is what inspired me to grow my Style Closet? 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.

Senior girl poses for senior pictures taken by top Chandler senior photographer

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!

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