Photo Shoot to Celebrate Your Teen | Award Winning Phoenix Photographer

Photo Shoot to Celebrate Your Teen | Award Winning Phoenix Photographer

Build Confidence & Create Memories: Fun Ideas for Teen Photo Shoots

Everyone knows time goes by too fast…especially if you’re a parent watching your little tike toddle into near-adulthood in the blink of an eye. How in the world did THAT happen so fast?!

We wish we’d taken more pictures, created more keepsakes and albums, tucked away more tangible reminders of those years that flew by. Well, I’ve got a secret for you! You don’t have to wait until senior year to have a fabulous photo shoot for your teenager.

I don’t have to tell you…kids change a LOT from the time they’re 13 or 14 years old until they graduate a few years later. So why aren’t more parents scheduling photo shoots for their teens? Here’s what I’ve heard…

They don’t want to ruin the fun of their senior session by scheduling extra teen sessions. The worry is that it might put a damper on the excitement of graduation photos, but nothing could be further from the truth! In fact, look at a teen photo shoot as a great warm-up and a way for your teen to get comfortable in front of the camera. That way, their senior pictures will be even more exciting!

Changing Throughout the Years

Think back through the years and remember how much your kids have changed. Think about the missing teeth and then the braces, the experimental haircuts, the unique fashion trends, and the trial runs at different sports. Every kid goes through so many stages before they finally reach that pinnacle year…SENIOR YEAR!

One of the best things ever is to be able to look back at those photos and see how they grew into themselves on their way to becoming fantastic young adults! And trust me, as a mom who just sent a daughter off to college, these photos are priceless when you’re waiting for them to come home for a visit!

Don’t Blink

It’s true. Graduation gets here WAY before we ever expect it to. And while our teens are itching to get out into the world, we cherish all the moments of watching them get to that point. So proceed with eyes wide open…don’t blink or you’ll miss something amazing!

Is a Teen Portrait Session Worth It?

A thousand times yes! A photo shoot for your teenager is a valuable investment for so many reasons. Not only does it build self-assurance and get them ready for senior pics, it gives family and friends the opportunity to have wonderful keepsakes that let them watch one of their favorite young people grow up.

Boost of Confidence

I hear it from every mom that walks into my office. Do any of these sound familiar to you?

“My daughter is beautiful, but she doesn’t see it.”

“My teen works so hard at sports and school, but she’s still lacking confidence.”

“I thought my child would be in the same sport throughout junior high and high school.” 

Yes? You’re not alone! I’ve been through all of these things with my teenagers, and it’s why I believe that taking a time-out and celebrating your child at this age is so important.

What’s in a Teen Photo Shoot?

My teen photo shoots are very similar to a senior portrait session. Clients can select a daytime session or a combination session that includes daytime and nighttime photos. If a teen wants to include a pet, a favorite sport, hobbies, or other things that truly make their personality shine, I’m all for it. Let’s go for it and make your teen stand out like the star they are!

Meet Marissa

This girl has to be one of the luckiest kids on the planet! She’s from Idaho, but every summer she visits her aunt and they do something special together. When Aunt Heidi realized they hadn’t had professional portraits done of Marissa in quite a few years, she gave me a call and we started planning! The hardest part was keeping all of this a secret from Marissa’s mom since it was going to be a surprise for her.

Phoenix Az Photographer Artistic Photo Shoot

What to Wear for a Teen Photo Shoot

The guidelines are the same for nearly any photo shoot. You’ll want to choose outfits you feel good in and be sure the clothes you choose fit you properly. Plan to bring at least 6 changes of clothes so we have a good variety to mix and match.

Not sure if you have the right styles and don’t want to spend a lot on clothes you’ll only wear a couple of times? Problem solved! Just check out these awesome outfits from my exclusive Style Closet! Since Marissa was visiting and hadn’t planned on a photo shoot, she took full advantage of all the different outfits available for my clients. She loved the vintage floral style paired with a red necklace, but then she selected one of the most popular dresses in my collection, the blue and white floral, which is beautiful in the water. She had her white shorts, so we paired that with a green crocheted top and leaf print wrap. It all came together beautifully!

Best Phoenix Photographer Teen Photos

This young lady looks fabulous in yellow and shows it perfectly in this popular jumpsuit. During her Arizona visit, she also had her hair highlighted, which you can see just a little in this image.

Phoenix Arizona Photography Teen Photos

This is who she is NOW, and in a few years she may decide she likes her natural blonde or some other hair color. But seriously, it’s stunning!!! I guarantee Mom will be thrilled to have these as Marissa goes through junior high and high school. And when her senior portraits are taken, she’ll love being able to compare and see the differences in Marissa as she’s grown up.

I had to get a picture of her stunning new hair color! As you can see, when the sun captures it just right, the trendy purple highlights peek through to give just a smidge of an edgy vibe to Marissa’s already on-trend look.

Phoenix Professional Photographer Teen Photo Shoot

A Special Note from Mom

Marissa has the greatest laugh, her creative mind and love of writing makes her stories fascinating to read. It is very heart- warming to watch her mentor the young 4H kids and the way she explains how to show rabbits. Her smile and laugh are so infectious…looking forward to watching her make the world a better place!

The greatest laugh? Yes, I’d have to agree! Believe it or not, this image was taken just off the side of the road. When we caught sight of all the summery yellow colors, we had to stop and make sure they were part of Marissa’s photo shoot. The romper she’s wearing is one of three in this style, each a different size and color, so I have lots of options for every client.

Another concern I hear from parents is about braces. They often wonder if they should wait until teenagers’ braces are removed before planning a photo shoot. Well, I guess you can, and I admit, years ago, I might have thought the same thing…BUT as it turns out, I love the pictures I have of my kids in braces because it reminds me of an entirely different phase of their lives!

Remember that whole thing about life going by too fast? Those braces pictures are pretty nice to have when you have a grown-up kiddo who’s ready to move out into the world on their own. Plus, what kid isn’t over-the-moon excited to pick the next color of rubber bands every time they go to the orthodontist? It’s a rite of passage, and just look at that gorgeous smile!

Phoenix Arizona Photography Teen Photo Shoot

Remind Them They’re Beautiful

I submit my images to many national and international magazines for publication, and I’ll admit, when I first got published I was beside myself. I couldn’t contain my joy! Now that feeling has shifted.

Don’t get me wrong; I love getting acknowledgement from my peers and other pros, but you know what’s even better? Spreading that joy to my teens! When I get to share the news that one (or more!) of their photos has been published, they’re so proud and excited. And with good reason! It’s a big deal to have your photo highlighted in one of these industry-leading publications. The magazines themselves are glossy and beautiful and high-quality. Add to that the fact that clients who are published are surrounded by hundreds of other gorgeous, runway-worthy teens–and they see themselves as part of that.

Marissa was lucky enough to have TWO of her images published in the premier issue of Teen Years Magazine! Below are her two winning images.

Marissa is quite the artist. She saw an image I did years ago of a high school girl with her sketchpad, and we decided to use that as inspiration for this picture. It was a treat for her to share her beautiful artwork with me. I can’t tell you how much I truly enjoy getting to know all my clients and watching them grow. I have a passion for photography, but getting a glimpse into the lives of these talented teens is something I love even more.

Best Phoenix Photographer Teen Photo Shoot

Marissa’s second winning image was taken at a nearby park toward the end of her session. I love how the early teen years can take kids from near-adulthood right back to childhood again. That’s why this photo of Marissa enjoying a carefree moment on a swing set is near and dear to my heart. And it’s just one more reminder to capture those growing-up moments while you can! Bonus: Marissa has always loved swings, so I didn’t even have to convince her this was a good idea. Every piece from this outfit is from the Magical Memories Style Closet, and it looked great with the light blue sky and green trees. Although we did have a few mishaps with the hat flying off!

Phoenix Arizona Photographer Amazing Teen Photo Shoot

Want to see more teen photo shoots at Magical Memories? You might enjoy these posts:
Alex and Mavery: Best Friends
Published in Teen Years Magazine
Teen Photo Shoot at Night
Meet Skylar: East Mesa Teen Photo Shoot

Twin Time | Inspired Senior Pictures for Siblings in Mesa, Arizona

Twin Time | Inspired Senior Pictures for Siblings in Mesa, Arizona

Brother & Sister Photos | Planning a Photo Shoot for Everyone

Everyone who knows me knows I love a challenge, so when Kate and Ben stepped into my office, I was ready! Ideas started flowing, and when I got to know this pair of siblings, I couldn’t wait to get started planning an amazing photo shoot they would both love.

Together with mom, we talked through all their likes, preferences, and especially all the talents and skills they’d want to make sure we highlighted in their graduation photos. And let me tell you, this is one seriously talented and accomplished duo!

Seriously Laid Back

One of the best parts of my job (there are so many BEST PARTS!) is getting to see the many sides of every graduate I work with, and Ben is no exception. He’s serious about his studies and his future, and he’s invested in building his skills (just wait ‘til you see his welding projects!), but when he wants to kick back and relax, he’s pretty serious about that, too.

Long Hair Guys Senior Pictures Mesa AZ

Ben’s easy-going, free-flowing printed shirt and reflective shades were the perfect way to show off his casual style. It was super-fun to work with the reflection in his lenses and capture his carefree grin as we kicked off the day. And talk about hair envy! Those locks soaked up every bit of the sunshine, and with a laidback lean, he pulled off a dashing in-the-moment look.

Hello, Future!

Graduates of Red Mountain High School in Mesa, Arizona, both Kate and Ben plan on attending Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland, Ohio. But that’s where the similarities in their educational paths stop!

Kate plans to lean on her love of engineering and success in the Academic Decathlon to drive her in double majors of astronomy and engineering physics as she transitions to college. Her dream job is to work as a NASA physicist, so keep your eyes open for even more amazing girl power coming from NASA soon!

Short Hair Girls Senior Pictures Mesa AZ

Ben’s sharp mind and intuitive nature are guiding him toward a career as a psychiatrist, and he’s already planning to earn his doctorate degree to further his future career. Known for being supportive and fun to be around, he is also artistic, a talented welder, and a history buff.

Welding Graduation Pictures Mesa AZ

Talk about mega-talented and driven graduates…it must run in the family!

Brother Sister Twins Senior Pictures Mesa AZ

Sundown in the Desert

Photographers spend a LOT of time honing their talent and working to learn all the tricks of the trade so we can make sure our clients get the very best images possible. But sometimes, there’s a little (or a LOT) of luck involved!

How often do you get to see a sunset this gorgeous? And how often do you actually have your camera ready WITH the perfect clients in the perfect spot to capture it? These ideal moments don’t happen all that frequently, so when they do, I am one seriously thrilled photographer!

Mesa Senior Photography Red Mountain DND

There’s so much to say about these photos of Kate! First, just when I thought I’d already seen her looking runway ready, she switched things up and pulled off this beautiful blue dress flawlessly. Not only does it pop against the natural colors of the sky, but she brought along a couple favorite accessories that paired wonderfully with this outfit.

The blue beret could not be any cuter! It adds serious panache and a sense of spunky style to her look. She topped things off with a perfectly color-coordinated gaming die that pulls in a key aspect of her personality, too. An active Dungeons and Dragons club member, this feisty shot is a fun reminder of one of the activities she loves.

Ben pulled off an equally stylish sundown look with a dapper hat, dressy tie, and a confident smile that shows off his engaging and witty personality.

Guys Senior Pictures Hat Sunset Mesa AZ

With the desert landscape in shadow behind them and the sky showing off brilliant colors, this sibling duo posed arm-in-arm and back-to-back in coordinated outfits. Both of them dressed to the nines, and they looked ready to paint the town or strike up a dance of celebration!

Brother Sister Twins Senior Pictures Sunset Mesa AZ

Artistic + Smart = Smartsy

I couldn’t resist capturing this photo of Kate as she sat down with her sketch pad and made what seems impossible to many of us look easy. It’s one of her many gifts, and she looks relaxed and gorgeous as she shades and blends the lines of her work.

She’s clearly got an eye for style as well! As soon as I saw how crisp and pulled together this look was on her and how it blended with the auburn shades of her hair, I knew we’d have a winning set of photos on our hands. With these images set in a shadowed background, Kate stands apart, and her choice of earth-tone boots, minimal accessories, and light makeup pull the entire look together.

Pro Tip: When you understand lighting, you can create a black background like this, outdoors, almost any time of day!

Artist Sketch Drawing Senior Pictures Mesa AZ

Talent Overload

You might want to check your kitchen drawers to see if your silverware is all accounted for, because if you look closely, you’ll notice Ben’s welding projects from Red Mountain are designed entirely from cutlery! He’s brilliant, witty, stylish, and creative…and he’s not stopping anytime soon.

A welder at Red Mountain, Ben can wield a torch and turn hunks of metal into some of the coolest pieces of art around. From soldiers to jousters to a giant eagle made of butter knives, his creativity and talent are boundless!

Mesa Senior Photography Welding

Of course, we had to include some great images of him in his welding helmet, jacket, and tee for his senior picture memories. When I saw his gear wasn’t just any plain gear—but instead covered in red flames—it added a coolness factor that demanded to be in pictures!

Welding Senior Pictures Mesa AZ

Green with Envy

Is there a color this girl doesn’t look gorgeous in? The simple answer is NOPE! She can pull off prints, vibrant blue, and everything in between. But this green sweater and coordinating hat have a way of making Kate glow in such a stunning way under the nighttime lights that it simply had to be part of her senior portrait collection.

Red Mountain Senior Picture Ideas Night

She’s trendy and chic and looks like she’s ready to take on the world in this model-worthy ensemble!

Dancin’ in the Streets

When the sun finally dropped and darkness fell, it was time to glam things up under the nighttime lights. It was the perfect time for a brother and sister dance right in the middle of the street.

Twins Senior Pictures Mesa AZ

And what better way to celebrate years of studying, hard work, and accomplishments than a twirl under the city lights?

These two are onto amazing things with big goals in front of them. Oh yeah, another great part of my job? Getting to stay in touch and hear about all the awesome things they accomplish along the way!

Get out there and take on the world, Kate and Ben!

Dashing, Dare-to-Be-Me Senior Photos for Guys | Mesa, AZ

Dashing, Dare-to-Be-Me Senior Photos for Guys | Mesa, AZ

Add Adventure & Accomplishments to Your Graduation Photos

There’ve been a few clients over the years who I’ve had to convince about the cool factor of the whole senior picture photo shoot situation. Colin is one of them. An awesome grad with so much going for him, it’s no wonder his mom clamored for an amazing set of graduation photos to show off his accomplishments. We just had to convince Colin there was value in the whole process…and in what he’d be able to give to friends and family to celebrate all his hard work.

East Mesa Outdoor Senior Portrait Photographer

Tough Cookie

Colin didn’t exactly arrive at my office kicking and screaming, but he did admit he was going through the entire senior portrait process for his mom. (What a sweet guy, am I right?!)

To get the best, most amazing senior pictures ever, however, I wanted to convince Colin it was something he wanted to do, too!

It took about 7 minutes. And if I can humble-brag for just a second, that’s kind of a record! This 2021 grad was on board with a professional photo shoot as soon as we started talking about the flexibility, creativity, and possibilities that would go into his images…all of which included HIS valuable input.

Restauranteur & Dapper Drink Mixer

If you’ve ever been to Fat Willy’s, you know it’s just about the coolest family sports bar and grill in town. Even cooler? It’s owned by Colin’s family, so of course some Risky Business-style pics were in order, complete with a dapper vest and tie and drink shaker in hand. (Disclaimer: To achieve this level of trendsetting genius, you must be at least 18 years old. I’ve grown accustomed to the comforts of home, and the authorities don’t take kindly to minors behind the bar!)

Check out the relaxed pose and smile Colin has going on! He’s right at home, and his classy vest, shirt, and tie combo fit in perfectly with the upscale stonework in the background. An added bonus? His smile and dimples add lighthearted charm to his sharp look.

East Mesa Senior Photographer Guys Suit

Shaken, Not Stirred

Ok, not even shaken! This guy was such a natural throughout his photo shoot that you’d never guess he was hesitant to even shoot graduation pictures. We added an image of his graduation cap, tassel, and gown to officially commemorate the moment.

East Mesa Graduation Photographer Guys

Getting Shadow & Light Just Right

Many of my clients gravitate toward outdoor photos since we’re in a place where the sun shines just about every day of the year! But don’t forget about the artistic and fun opportunities that exist for your senior pictures at indoor locations around the East Valley. Especially if you own—or know someone who owns—a unique, artistic, or simply amazing picture spot!

Not only did Colin’s photos give him the chance to celebrate the family biz along with his accomplishment, choosing indoor images allowed me to pull in some super creative lighting elements. I love the way Colin stands out in these pictures! With his light eyes, reddish hair, and choice of light-colored shirt, I had the chance to really pull him forward and let the background fade.

East Mesa Senior Photographer Guys

Moments That Matter (And Why I Do This Job)

Every now and then, you’ll see a senior picture where the grad is holding a photo of a grandparent or parent—sort of a fun and creative throwback photo. The image below is similar, except when I finished shooting it, there wasn’t a dry eye in the room…including mine! (Talk about a challenge. How’s a photographer supposed to focus when she’s sobbing?)

There are so many reasons to love this photo, but the most touching one—and the one that made this moment so meaningful—is that fact that Colin’s dad, pictured in the framed photo he’s holding, passed away just over two years ago. I wanted to capture the proud moment when a son looked down at his dad, both of them dressed in their graduation caps and gowns, and shared a common memory and accomplishment.

East Mesa Senior Pictures Photographer

Talk about a “mini-me” moment! Colin and his dad look exactly alike, and if the photo shoot was emotional, I can’t even begin to explain the happy and poignant emotions when they arrived for the Image Premiere and they got to see this image for the very first time.

Daredevil Moves & A Devilish Grin

After drying our tears, we moved on…to another day and a different portion of Colin’s senior pictures! It was time for fun in the sun, and Canyon Lake was on the agenda.

Don’t try to guess how many graduation caps we went through during these photos. The wakeboarding portion is what I lovingly refer to as the “water adventure” segment of the shoot, and it involved a whole lot of Colin looking really, really cool on a wakeboard and his crazy photographer trying not to fall in the water as I balanced myself and all my equipment while trying to capture stuntman-worthy moves!

East Mesa Senior Graduation Pictures Canyon Lake Boat

As a senior, if you’re gonna send the “OUTTA HERE” message, there aren’t a whole lot of ways that are cooler than this!

East Mesa Senior Pictures Canyon Lake Wakeboard

Colin is a 2021 graduate of Desert Ridge High School, and he’s looking forward to a future full of possibilities! He’d love to become a voice actor, and he’s planning to work in a trade like construction or welding to save money and build his skillset.

A self-confessed nerd, Colin loves bands like Dropkick Murphy and Five Finger Death Punch. He’s a gamer and he likes to watch Pacific Rim, Godzilla, and Supernatural. He’s got big dreams on his bucket list, so keep an eye out, because in the future he’d like to try skydiving, backpacking through Europe, and visiting Tokyo.

Asked for advice for incoming high school freshmen, he simply wishes everyone good luck. But on the down-low he says to watch out for the lunch lady and avoid making eye contact. According to Colin, she’s not one to be messed with!

East Mesa Senior Picture Photographer Desert Ridge

What an amazing young man and family! Clients like this make my job so rewarding, and I cannot wait to see how he crushes his goals!

Urban Chic Hot Spots | Best Senior Picture Locations in Chandler, Arizona

Urban Chic Hot Spots | Best Senior Picture Locations in Chandler, Arizona

Goals & Glam: Future-Focused Graduation Photos

I was super-excited to meet Natalie and talk about her senior pictures and all the ideas she had for her portrait package—for a couple of reasons. First of all, I’m always thrilled to help graduating seniors put together the perfect photo package that celebrates all they’ve accomplished throughout their school years. Secondly, I was over-the-moon happy to help Natalie plan an entire photo shoot that would commemorate all the hard work she’s put in as both a graduate and a single mom!

Everyone who’s a mom knows that all those sleepless nights and early-morning feedings aren’t for the weak. Add to that the stress and hard work of finishing up a high school education and graduating, and you end up with a mega amount of responsibility on your shoulders. While many might expect a young adult in her situation to flounder, Natalie did exactly the opposite!

Hello, Honor Roll

Throughout high school, Natalie met challenges and welcomed unexpected gifts with every ounce of her energy, positivity, and enthusiasm—and those things are exactly what landed her on the honor roll at Chandler Online Academy in Chandler, Arizona. Those close to her describe her as determined and ambitious, which are qualities that are sure to carry her far as she moves from high school onto her future goals. And those are the exact qualities I wanted to capture in her senior pictures!

Urban Vibes Close to Home

Natalie let me know she loved the urban look and wanted to work that style into her senior photos, and after seeing how these pictures turned out, I knew why. This girl fits so naturally into this downtown setting with her cool and chic style! If you didn’t know better, you’d think there was a professional model photo shoot taking place.

In destructed denim and a trendy cotton blouse, Natalie effortlessly tops everything off with a fashionable layered necklace look. And who doesn’t want to see the world through rose-colored glasses? Adding a vintage feel to her look, she chose a pair of ombré two-tone shades with rhinestone accents to amp up her look. Her accessory choices perfectly highlight her just-right make-up and sleek hairstyle.

Outdoor Senior Photography Downtown Chandler Arizona

A quick outfit change let Natalie switch from denim to a strappy white slip dress. This was another perfect outfit choice for the location! I instantly saw the background that would make Natalie’s look stand out even more, and it mixed seamlessly with the downtown feel we were going for. By pairing the industrial look of a metal railing and an urban staircase backdrop, I was able to pull in tons of texture and depth, truly making Natalie the star of this photo. I love the way she stands out in her white dress with her rock star nails as she makes eye contact with the camera!

Upbeat Look, Downtown Edge

This brick wall background gave us another great way to add texture and pull in the downtown elements Natalie was looking for. I wanted to make sure there were plenty of opportunities to capture her show-stopping nails, so I encouraged lots of movement and added in a chair for some fun seated angles, too. Not only is it helpful for clients to have something to do with their hands during shoots, it also adds a more natural element. Let the twirling begin!

In this series of photos, Natalie is stunningly front and center in another outfit change that I want to point out for its lack of complexity. Light denim jeans paired with a strappy black cami are stylish and just right for the location, and without a lot of fanfare and extra accessories, the focus is solely on Natalie. Often, some of your favorite outfits or casual looks that make you feel most comfortable are the ones that will truly make you shine!

Outdoor Senior Photos Downtown Chandler AZ

Just a Peek

Sunglasses are a must in Arizona! So why not make them stylish and add a bit of a flirty peek over the brim to show off sculpted brows and gorgeous eyes?

To get Natalie’s straight-from-the-runway look, remember to touch up your brows a few days before your senior pictures, have your nails in show-off shape, and bring lip gloss to touch up your lips throughout your photo shoot. Bring a brush or comb, too, just in case it’s breezy and you need to wrangle your hair back into place.

What to Wear Senior Pictures Chandler AZ

What’s in a Number?

As it turns out, a number can mean a whole lot! Natalie wanted a giant “21” to commemorate the year of her graduation—and with good reason. After all her hard work and determination, it was finally time to celebrate a major accomplishment.

I love the way the light captures the shine on these balloon numbers, but I don’t think anything can compare with the glow on Natalie’s face!

Outdoor Senior Pictures Balloons Chandler Photographer

Cap Toss & Carefree Smiles

We switched up the scenery a bit for some more traditional cap and gown photos, and with a natural background to show off her smiling face, Natalie absolutely radiates happiness. As she flung her mortarboard high in the air, I could sense the joy and feeling of accomplishment in all she’d done. If ever there was a time to show off that number “21,” this is it! Way to go, Natalie!

Outdoor Graduation Photography Chandler Senior Photographer

She Did It…for Both of Them

For a professional photographer, there’s not a lot that feels better than capturing an image that so perfectly conveys how meaningful a moment is for a client.

Outdoor Graduation Photos Chandler Senior Photographer

Meet Rylah. She’s Natalie’s daughter, and she just turned 3. I’m the luckiest photographer ever, because soon I’ll be able to share some of the sweetest 3-year-old birthday pictures with you, too! But today is about celebrating Natalie and all the things that have inspired her to keep working hard and graduate on the honor roll.

There are so many things I love about these images, but mostly, I’m proud to share how they truly convey the love, strength, and happiness that is apparent in the bond between Natalie and Rylah.

Teen Mom Graduation Photos Chandler AZ

Words of Wisdom

When asked if she has advice for incoming freshmen, Natalie said she’d tell them to focus on school and remind them that there’s plenty of time for relationships later. She says she’ll miss her teenage years, but keep your eyes open for her, because this fashion-forward, outgoing young lady has her sights set on being a YouTuber. You can bet she’ll be sharing inspiration and top tips for success as she makes her mark on the world!

Best Portrait Photographers in Mesa, AZ | Professional Senior Pictures

Best Portrait Photographers in Mesa, AZ | Professional Senior Pictures

Choose the Best Photographer for Senior Pictures

I believe that a great reputation is earned and built over time–and it takes a combination of great clients, a desire to continually learn, and a passion for what you do. It’s about more than just being voted the best or having a huge social media following.  I’m always looking for ways to deliver a unique experience for graduating seniors, as well as provide Mom and Dad with photo shoot fun that will forever remind them of their kiddo’s exciting day. Of course, the heirloom keepsakes I design after the photo shoot don’t hurt either! Storyboards, images boxes, and heirloom albums are always a hit, and there are plenty of creative portrait gifts the grad can choose for family and friends too.

In 2019 and 2020 I was voted one of the Best Portrait Photographers in Mesa by! In 2021, there are fewer professional photographers, but again I was voted one of the Top 8 Portrait Photographers in Mesa! connects people with the best local professional photographers. Portrait photographers are rated on more than 25 variables across five categories, resulting in a hand-picked list of the best portrait photographers in Mesa, AZ. Over 160 photographers were nominated this year, and then selects the top photographers based on the following criteria: Reputation, Qualifications, Experience, Reliability, and Professionalism. Don’t take my word for it. Go check out the complete list of the  Best Portrait Photographers for 2021!

What’s changed for 2021? Well, I was mystery shopped. Haha, I couldn’t believe it! Someone called and of course I answered, gave them all the necessary info and we chatted a bit. Then about 5 minutes later I got a notice that does in fact do random calls to see which photography studios respond and handle client requests professionally. So now, when you go to my profile you’ll see that I now have an A+ rating for both reputation and professionalism.

Top Professional Photographer Mesa Arizona

Find Best Senior Portrait Photographer Mesa Arizona

Best Portrait Photographer Mesa Az

Best Portrait Photographer Mesa AZ

These days online reviews are everywhere, but isn’t it frustrating when you’re searching reviews for a particular service and one site gives 5 stars, but another site gives 3 stars? How do you know? Top Rated Local helps take the guesswork out of online ratings by combing reviews from several sites. Every month I receive an updated report and I’m proud to say that since joining in 2019 I’ve had a 97% rating! Here is the most recent update from October 2020. As of September 2021, my rating is actually 98%, but they aren’t doing these updates anymore.

Best Senior Pictures Near Me

Reputation: A history of delighted customers and outstanding service.

5 Star Google Review Mesa Photographer

Since 2009, Magical Memories by Michelle has had the honor of photographing clients from all over Arizona! High end portraits are my number one priority! If people didn’t love my portraits, I wouldn’t be in business. By treating each client with respect and collaborating together to create their dream portraits, then finalizing with top notch quality prints, wall displays, albums, and custom artwork, I’ve earned a perfect 5 star rating across every review site! I want every single client to be thrilled with the process and the final images! Feel free to check out all of my online reviews! In August I hit 50 reviews! Do you know how hard that is for a small business? I never thought that would happen! I love my clients, they love me, we have a blast together at every senior photo shoot!

Website | Google | Facebook | Yelp

Qualifications: Building customer confidence with licensing, accreditation, and awards.

While I didn’t necessarily start out strong, I did start out right! Magical Memories by Michelle has been licensed with the State of Arizona since 2009 and became an LLC is 2012. I am also an active member of PPA, Professional Photographers of America and my membership allows me to be insured and provides numerous resources and classes. Feel free to visit my profile there too! This year, when Senior Year Magazine published their spring edition, 9 of my seniors were included! Since 2014, I’ve had almost 50 images published nationally and internationally in 12 of the industry’s leading magazines and had dozens of teen and senior images featured over the years.

 Phoenix Senior Photographer Guys Best Chandler Senior Photographer Girls Top Phoenix Senior Photographer Top Senior Photographer Mesa Az Mesa Teen Photographer Magazine Best Arizona Photographer Modern Style

Experience: Masters of their craft, based on years of practical experience and education.

As an artist, it isn’t easy to hear about your mistakes and flaws, but it is necessary. I’ve spent years having my work reviewed by my peers, because let’s face it…my family and friends always think I’m amazing! Annual classes and workshops keep me at the top of the field for senior pictures and ensure that I am able to offer the best experience to graduating high school students. With a wide variety of skills, my sessions take place during the day, and now I offer an Ultimate Senior Portrait Session that includes nighttime photos for a completely unique look! I’ve even been named one of the Top 200 Senior Photographers Worldwide!

Senior Year Magazine Top Photographer AZ

Reliability: Consistently approachable and responsive, so customers never feel ignored.

The key to my success has been staying low volume. I always thought I’d need to shoot hundreds of clients annually, but it didn’t take long for me to realize that’s not what works best for me or my clients. You’re not just a number to me, I want you to feel valued. By never having back-to-back sessions you’ll never be rushed out to get the next session started. I only schedule a maximum of 8 sessions per month, so there is flexibility to reschedule due to illness or weather.

Professionalism: Providing service with honesty, reliability, and respect.

I can honestly say that I’ve had very few client issues throughout my years as a photographer. By using only professional print labs and having a relationship with each one, I’m immediately notified of any problems. They call if I mess up…and I have. I’m not perfect, but I am a perfectionist which means I will require a lab to reprint artwork with even the smallest flaw. I’ve only had one product that was damaged over time, and that was replaced within three days.