Make a Splash with Water Pictures: Showcase What They Love
It’s summertime in the desert, and the heat is on! What better time to showcase your love of all things water?!
Meet Alyse, 2021 graduate from Gilbert Classical Academy in Gilbert, Arizona. A valued member of the GCA swim team, Alyse also works as a lifeguard, plays a bit of basketball, loves to paint and take pictures with her Polaroid, and of course, she’s always up for a hangout with friends. After working with her, I’m convinced there’s nothing this girl can’t do!
With so much of her time spent around the water, it only made sense to begin our planning by incorporating water ideas into her photo shoot! So of course, we talked swimming and swim team, and we worked on ways to pull her team uniform into her pictures. She even went bold and decided for a shot of her team suit under her graduation gown. Talk about a fun and creative idea!
When Alyse and her family reached out to me about her graduation photos, I was excited to plan locations, outfits, and ideas to really highlight her high school years. It was all the more fun because of the excitement she brought to the planning process. Described as determined and funny by those who know her, this girl absolutely blew me away with her creativity and willingness to kick back and share a laugh.
Ready, Set, Shoot
Alyse was ALL IN from day one, and her energy and ideas added a ton of valuable insight that helped me find the perfect venues and backgrounds to suit her personality.
It’s great when clients have ideas about themes and locations they really love, because that helps me guide them in overall planning. When I know what you love, what inspires you, and what reflects YOUR personality, I can get us going in the right direction even faster!
Top Secret Uber-Confidential Water Photo Information
Yes, there is water in the desert, and we CAN find it for your senior pictures if you want a similar look. Before hitting water venues, you’ll want to keep a few things in mind:
It gets slick out there—especially if you choose a natural location like a lake or river. I can fix a lot of things, but I can’t fix that. Water pics are beautiful but be prepared to tread cautiously and lightly to avoid a slip.
Bring some old shoes or a cheap pair of flip-flops. Don’t plan on wearing your super-chic and trendy booties for your water pictures. They’ll get muddy and mucky before you can say “Cheese!” Guaranteed. (Also, I will never ask you to say “Cheese.”)
Choose the right clothing for water. You’ll want something flowy that makes it look like you live among mermaids, BUT be careful to select outfits that aren’t too finicky about care—especially about getting wet. PRO TIP: Do not borrow your mom’s vintage silk scarf for this shot.
Bring a beach towel (or two). If you decide a flirty splash or a toe dip would make the perfect photo, you’ll definitely want a towel so you can dry off and move on to the next shot.
Go with the flow. If you end up making a bigger splash than you planned, just roll with it and have fun! Free-spirited Alyse took a bit more of a dip than she expected when she hit a slick spot—and let’s just say, she gracefully took a seat in a watery venue. What happened next? She made a splash, of course! And we captured unexpected, fantastic images. Sometimes, the unexpected turns into the awesome!
A Wardrobe That Wows
From team uniform to trendy casual to glam, Alyse had it together when she gathered her photo shoot wardrobe! The whole idea is to have fun with it and let the outfits you choose reflect YOU and your style. When you feel good about what you’re wearing, it will show in your movements and expressions—and that will carry over to your photos.
Every now and then, the camera decides it simply doesn’t like a certain style or outfit. Maybe it’s because of lighting or background or any number of other factors. This happened with an adorable dress that looked GREAT on Alyse in person—but in front of the camera, the angles were lost, leaving her fun and flowy dress looking shapeless and limp.
Funny enough, after trying on an outfit she was on the fence about—a rust-colored ensemble that suited her perfectly—Alyse looked like a supermodel in front of the camera! (Note from your professional photog: I’ll NEVER let anything make you look unflattering! You will look glam & gorgeous… guaranteed.)
As Alyse heads off to college in the fall, her mom will have a variety of photos to keep her company and remind her of her daughter’s high school days. With everything from keepsake photo boxes filled with double-sided images to a multi-image storyboard to a premier slideshow, Mom can keep Alyse close even when she’s off adulting and following her dreams.
I asked her what she would say to incoming freshmen if given the chance. Alyse said she would tell them to focus on grades because those are important—but not to lose sight of making memories, because that’s what you’ll really look back on after graduation.
Alyse is headed to college, and while she’s undecided on her specific major (weren’t we all!), her dream job is to be a cardiac surgeon. Whatever she chooses, with her determination, smarts, and drive to succeed, this girl will rule in her field!
I love to watch my clients grow into their future selves, and I can’t wait to see what you’re going to do next, Alyse. Keep smiling and working hard…I know you’ll make a splash wherever you go!
Makeup Trends for Teens: The Perfect Face for Senior Pictures
Makeup trends constantly change to make way for new ideas and new products. Cosmetics play an important role in your overall look and style, and with everything that’s on the market, it can feel overwhelming, but not to worry. There’s no reason to stress, because, just like every other step of your senior picture process, I’ll walk you through what looks and concepts will work well for you in front of the camera.
Ready to learn what’s new and trendy AND combine that with styles that will photograph well and show your very best features? Here’s what to pay attention to this season.
The Eyes Have It
They are the way you show expression, connect with people, and even communicate silently. So of course, when I’m behind the camera, I try to capture every nuance of your personality—and it shines through your eyes! This year’s biggest makeup trend is all about the eyes, and is it any wonder? With all the mask-wearing we’ve had to do, we’ve only been able to focus on half our faces for most of 2020 and the beginning of 2021!
And if you only get to show off half your face, it should look good, right? Here’s how pros and celebs are adding mega glam to their gazes:
Bring on the drama. Don’t be afraid to go a little darker or bolder than normal for your photos. Whatever you see in real life will look lighter via the camera lens, so that little extra boost of color will end up looking perfectly natural in your pics. Especially if you plan on wearing your glasses, give your eye makeup a little extra pop, so it will show up nicely in your photographs.
Get a little catty. The cat-eye is quick and easy to create, and it adds drama to your look, pulling attention to your face. You can create this look with just eyeshadow or with shadow and liner. This year, even the cat-eye gets a makeover, however, with the trend turning toward brighter, bolder colors and more creative shapes that often extend below the eye.
Ombré all the way. A fun trend is the ombré eyeshadow look, blending various shades artfully together from light to dark as you work from the inner portion of your eyelid outward. For an updated dramatic look, add a light liner and mascara after you’ve applied your shadow.
Sun-kissed and glowing. If you’re a sunshine lover, check out the super-fun sunset eyeshadow look that will make you look like you’re beach bound and surf ready. For a golden-toned glow, build from a nude eyelid into a cat-eye shape, incrementally adding and darkening with a sunset palette that can include your choice of any colors under the sun!
They call it the blues. Or the purples. Or even the teals. Vibrant color is making a comeback, and if you’re bold, you’ll probably give this trend a test run. Try it out first on your own at home to see if it’s your style. It’s not a great idea to show up for your photo shoot in bright yellow eye makeup for the very first time! Done correctly, bright pops of color can make your eyes stand out and help you steal the show. Just be sure to nail the look before your big day!
For the first time in a long time, we’re waving goodbye to traditional smoky eyes and heralding the return of color. Emerald greens, striking blues, hot pinks, and neon yellows are making appearances, and the boldest fashion influencers are applying eyeshadow full circle—to both the upper and lower lids.
But don’t worry if you’re not ready to brave the under-eye color trend just yet. Fashion icons are straddling trends and opting for a smoky color fusion and sticking to just the upper lid.
PRO TIP: Sephora is a hot spot for all the popular eyeshadow palettes! You can get coordinating colors that are designed to go together, so it’s easy to blend and find your perfect look.
Beyond the Eyes
Now that we’ve got your eyes covered, it’s time to move on to the rest of your gorgeous face. Here’s what to look out for this season as you prep for your senior picture photo shoot.
Natural Skin & Light Coverage
Embracing your natural beauty is so in! Foundation that perfectly matches your skin color? Hello! We’re welcoming self-confidence, good vibes, and acceptance into our lives, and that means your makeup should make you look good AND feel good!
No paint spackling for you! A light, single layer of coverage is perfect. In fact, with all the mask-wearing we’ve had to do, many have opted to shift from traditional, heavier foundations to products that offer a more natural glow—like tinted skin conditioners and moisturizers. Not only can you avoid that annoying feeling of your foundation running down your face in the summertime heat, but you’ll also get that dewy, glamorous look everyone loves right now.
Sparkling Cheeks & Lids
When the sun hits your skin, there’s nothing like a beautiful sparkle to catch the eye! A quick brush of shimmer over your cheeks and lids will have you looking ephemeral, angelic, and gorgeous in every picture!
Freckles…If You’ve Got ‘Em, Don’t Hide ‘Em
Freckles are THE natural accessory of 2021. Their incredible character and depth-adding abilities draw attention to your face without being overwhelming. So forget all the potions and creams you purchased in the past to try to cover them up. Go natural and let those freckles show!
Feathered, Full & Groomed Brows
Brows are this years’s power piece. Full, striking, and well-defined brows not only sculpt your eyes, but also your entire face. There was a short interlude where we all feared the skinny, over-plucked brow might be making a comeback, but we all stuck together and vetoed that really fast! Your brows frame your face and give depth to your look, so be sure to have them well-groomed and shaped for your photo shoot, but don’t overwork them.
Why is lip gloss amazing? It’s a quick-apply, ready-anytime makeup lifesaver, and it’s absolutely perfect for photography sessions. It can go over your lipstick color to freshen it up, or it can stand alone as a light tint to highlight your look. Keep it handy during your photo shoot and swipe it on fast to match the dewy, glistening glow you’ve created. Then slip it into your purse or pocket for convenient grab-and-apply access the entire day.
The Artistic Touch
If you thought colored mascara went out with the 60s, 70s, or even the 80s, think again. It’s back, and this time, it’s better than ever. The past couple decades missed out with their monochromatic mascaras, but color has finally made its comeback, and in 2021, eyelashes are going to pop!
The boldest and bravest will go for electric blue and vibrant violet lashes, but if you’re not quite ready for that, remember that long and luscious is still the goal. Achieve this look by gently using an eyelash curler to prep the lashes before applying a quick layer of mascara.
PRO TIP: Clumpy spider-leg mascara took the last train to NopeVille, so ditch this look by avoiding excessive layers of mascara. Less is definitely more!
Believe it or not, Kendall Jenner didn’t start this trend. In fact, the popular lip treatment owes its roots to Korea’s beloved and bustling makeup scene (the one that gave us BB cream!) It made its way to the U.S. in 2020 when lipstick was being smeared ruthlessly behind masks. (I don’t need to tell you what a mess that was!) Lip stain entered the scene and became the next best (even better!) thing.
PRO TIP: A little lip gloss on top of lip stain will give your lips a refreshed glow for pics throughout your photo shoot.
Senior photography makeup is all about enhancing your natural beauty. Here’s what you can do to make your photo shoot the very best it can be for YOU:
Start looking at photos of styles, outfits, and makeup you love.
Get ideas from others and figure out what works with YOUR style.
Plan photos and looks that feel natural to you.
Most of all, relax, know you are amazing, and expect to have fun!