Rsz Best Senior Photographer Mesa Arizona
Cute Outfits for Senior Pictures | Chandler Senior Photographer

Cute Outfits for Senior Pictures | Chandler Senior Photographer

Cute Outfits for Senior Pictures

Here we are again with more tips and advice for choosing outfits for your senior pictures! To get the pictures that tell a story and look phenomenal, you need to find the right outfits. Clothing items can set a tone for the shoot and really take your images from mediocre to marvelous!  Since shopping in your own closet isn’t always enough, remember you have access to my exclusive Style Closet. Feel free to select from this carefully curated selection of fashion items to help you spruce up your wardrobe.  Today we’re talking about a great trend, something our senior girls love, and I have many colors, sizes, and styles in my Style Closet: the jumpsuit.To get the pictures that tell a story and look phenomenal, you need to find the right outfit. The right outfits can set a tone for the shoot, inspire the photographer, make you feel fabulous and confident, and result in better senior pictures than you thought possible! There are many directions you can go in when it comes to clothing choices, but picking the right outfit can make the photo look extra special.

How to Pull Off a Jumpsuit for Your Senior Pictures

Since shopping in your own closet isn’t always enough, I’ve built an exclusive style closet to make the process a little easier for you. You get to pick anything from this carefully curated selection of fashion items to help you spruce up your outfit for the shoot! One of the most popular items in the style closet is jumpsuits. Our seniors love them and look amazing in them!

Jumpsuits are extremely fun fashion pieces, which makes them great for a photoshoot. They are easy to accessorize, can help you look put together, and fit into numerous styles. Furthermore, jumpsuits elongate the silhouette of the body and accentuate the waist, creating a lovely hourglass shape. Posing in a jumpsuit is limitless and we can go from sophisticated to playful just by changing up the style!

Marissa x 2

Goodness, this post is just overflowing with beautiful teens named Marissa! You’ll meet the 3rd one in just a bit. I love how this yellow jumpsuit works so well for both of these young ladies. One has gorgeous long dark hair while the other has stunning blonde curls, and yet this colorful jumpsuit looks stunning on both of them! It can be accessorized with sunglasses or just add some glitter!

Cute Outfits Teen Picutres East Mesa Az Cute Outfits Senior Pictures Mesa Red Mountain

Andrea decided to use the gorgeous Arizona desert for her senior pictures and we were blessed with an abundance of wildflowers. They became the perfect background and prop. The yellow wildflowers matched the jumpsuit in both color and pattern which gave the photo a cohesive look. Andrea’s winning smile made this photos one of her favorites!

Cute Outfits Senior Pictures Chandler AZ

Location and accessories can transform an outfit. At about 5’11” this jump suit is an excellent choice for my tall girls out there! Kate’s daytime photo (left) paired with low heels and layered bracelets gives the jumpsuit a more laid-back vibe. On the right we have yet ANOTHER beautiful Marissa! Her image shows just how gorgeous this great jumpsuit looks during a night-time shoot too! We grabbed the famous black floppy hat from the style closet and her darling black heels, and you can see just how gorgeous the jumpsuit works at night too!

Cute Outfits Senior Pictures Eastmark Mesa

The pattern of the jumpsuit can also play a huge role in the way your photo turns out. For example, Cassandra wore a senior favorite, this fun polka dot jumpsuit! This photo shows just a touch of retro while remaining true to her style. The red heels…my fave!!!! They complemented the pattern perfectly and brought some spice to the outfit. Then the kicked back pose at San Tan Village gave us a fun way to showcase Cassandra’s playful personality.

Cute Outfits Senior Pictures Mesa Arizona

How to Choose the Right Jumpsuit

Think about what you want from your senior photos and what style suits you. With so many colors and patterns in the style closet, I’m sure we’ll find one you’ll love! Once you’ve selected a jumpsuit, you can start adding accessories to transform the entire look and bring out your best features. Can’t find what you’re looking for? There are hats and jewelry in the style closet too, so just have fun!

If you love these outfits, you might enjoy these posts:
Marissa: Desert Ridge High School Featured Photo Shoot
Cassandra: St. Mary’s High School Senior Pictures

Marissa: Teen Photo Shoot
Marissa: Red Mountain High School Senior Pictures

Mesa Senior Photos | Desert Ridge High School

Mesa Senior Photos | Desert Ridge High School

An Artist and his Violin

There are days when you just know you’re going to have a good shoot. It’ll be hours of perfect shots, easy-going atmosphere, great lighting,  and even better company – just some of the things that make my job worthwhile. Well, when I say that Spencer brought it all to the table, I mean it! I’ve known Spencer and his mom for a few years and as always, it means so much when friends hire me to be their photographer.

Introducing Spencer – Artist and Nature-loving extraordinaire

First of all, there’s something so timelessly beautiful about capturing someone playing the violin. The effortless passion of Spencer, who looks right at home with his violin in tow, is clearly visible. In fact, while he may have been a little nervous about being in front of the camera at first, once he brought out the violin he was a natural in front of the camera. It just so happens that he loves to create beautiful art – no matter what the form!

Mesa Senior Photos Instrument

The Must-have Cap & Gown Shot

Graduating as part of the Desert Ridge High School class of 2020, Spencer has his sights set on a bachelor’s degree in environmental science. Which is no surprise really, throughout the shot it was clear that Spencer enjoyed the outdoors with his surroundings. Just happy to observe and to be. The peace and serenity of the shoot comes through in every image as far as I’m concerned.

Mesa Senior Graduation Photos Cap Gown

That said, we used many locations in the Mesa area…From gorgeous greens to the beautiful desert, and all the way to the peaceful water, it all just worked.

Outdoor Mesa Senior Photos

Always Room for More Favorites!

Spencer looked stylish this favorite shirt polished off with his winning smile.

Mesa Senior Photos Guys What To Wear Mesa Senior Photos Eastmark

Oh, and did I mention that he likes basketball? Portland Trailblazers are by far his favorite team. He even had the fun idea of paying homage to the team by wearing his favorite jersey paired with a black hoodie. What a great look!

Mesa Senior Photos Desert Ridge

Driving The Shoot Home

Like all teenagers – and people of all ages really – Spencer can’t get enough of his first car. I think we can all remember the joy of our first ride, and I’m happy Spencer has a suitably cool picture to remind him of it!

Mesa Senior Photos Guys

By now, you might be noticing that Spencer really likes the color red. In fact, I believe it stars in almost every photo we took at once stage or another. No matter where we went or what changes we made, red snuck its way in time and time again. It’s also clear that alongside Spencer’s easy-going nature is a bold streak of fun! Seriously, check it out…red ties, red car, red jersey, red checkered shirt, and it all pulled together for a stunning gallery of senior photos for this guy!

Where There’s A Will, There’s A Way!

Being from the Arizona desert, one of the biggest requests is “can you make it NOT look like the desert?” And Spencer, like many others, wanted to include water in his photos and we found this perfect serene spot where he was able to pull out his sketchbook continue drawing.

Mesa Senior Photos Art Drawing

Who Knew Ties Were THIS Fashionable?

And ever the stylish young man, Spencer made sure that a range of colorful ties made an appearance in his photos. While ties bring a sophisticated air to photos, they also add an extra pinch of personality through color, something Spencer was well aware of!

Mesa Senior Photos Violin

Amazing Mesa Senior Photos Guys

I mentioned earlier just a few of the reasons why I enjoy specializing in senior photos. Being chosen to celebrate this big milestone in a teenager’s life, it’s my dream job! Never do I feel this more strongly than when parents and teens see their senior pictures for the first time. Moms, if your eyes start to water it’s OK! It happens to nearly every mom when she first sees the premiere slideshow with her “baby’s” senior photos.

Choose Your Ties Wisely

Moving on before my own tears start, let’s talk about ties!  If you’re not sure about what colors or patterns would work for you – here’s a short guide to choosing the best colors and patterns for your tie.

  • White shirt – It’s all fair game, choose any color or pattern at all!
  • Navy shirt – light blue or burgundy
  • Blue shirt – red, black, blue, or even yellow!
  • Red shirt – black or navy
  • Light blue shirt – brown
  • Shirt with a small pattern – solid tie or a tie with a large pattern
  • Shirt with a large pattern – solid tie or a tie with a small pattern

DON’T:

  • Use patterns that are similar in style or size
  • Mix plaid and gingham

DO:

  • Think about texture when choosing your tie
  • Have your tie already tied prior to your session

If your looking for even more in-depth fashion advice, check out these articles:

But you don’t have to take my word for it; ties are for expression after all! So, pay no mind to the tie police, do your own thing, and feel free to be a rule-breaker!

How to Get Beautiful Cap & Gown Graduation Photos | Mesa Senior Portrait Photographer

How to Get Beautiful Cap & Gown Graduation Photos | Mesa Senior Portrait Photographer

Beautiful Outdoor Graduation Photos

Have you considered brining your cap & gown to your senior portrait session? If not, you definitely should and I promise not to make them the same basic pictures that you’ll get from the school-selected photographer. I encourage you to bring all things senior related…cap, gown, tassel, letter, bows, sashes, bring all the things!

And that’s exactly what Rylee did before she graduated from Florence High School last spring. Not only were we lucky enough to have her graduation ensemble, but she also brought her cheer bow and senior sash.

Graduation Senior Pictures Arizona

Arizona Graduation Photos Tassel

While I may sound like a broken record, make sure you have everything ready for your graduation photos! Everything from head to toe…cap, gown, tassel, dress (yes, you do wear clothing under the gown!), and appropriate shoes. Oh, and if you don’t get the “broken record” reference, go ask mom or dad. I sometimes forget how young my seniors are, or how old I really am, and we’re not going to discuss those things. Let’s just move along and show off some more great cap & gown photos.

Creativity Comes Alive in the Arizona Sun

I often use this gorgeous Eastmark location for high school graduation photos because of the variety. For Brianna’s senior portrait session she asked if she could bring her cousin Ashton along. They were both Class of 2020 graduates so I thought it was a fabulous idea! We typically start shooting a couple of hours before sunset, so when we arrived, that bright Arizona sun was perfect to create these fun poses with the girls together.

Mesa Az Graduation Photos

Just a few feet away we created a completely different, softer look with nice highlights to their hair. While I do have this image in color, the black and white really showed off their smiles and pure joy at the thought of being almost done with high school. This image was selected and published by Senior Year Magazine in the Class of 2020 edition too! Yep, you read that right! My seniors nearly always get submitted for publication and while not everyone gets their picture in a magazine, it’s very exciting when they do!

High School Graduation Photos Mesa Az

The Toss

You may or may not get to toss your cap at your graduation ceremony so I love recreating an iconic hat toss for my seniors, like this one of Caroline. We were extra lucky that day and captured colorful sun rays that added a fun element to the picture.

Mesa Graduation Photos Cap Gown

Trust me, that giggle is everything. It makes for the perfect, relaxed, candid photo that parents and seniors love. In fact, Caroline loved this so much it is on the cover of her keepsake book!

Mesa Graduation Photos

Graduation Photos Keepsake Book

Get the “Mom Shot”

Every parent wants that perfect graduation picture of their child that showcases their cap, gown, and that beautiful smile. In fact, no graduation session is complete without the “mom shot.” Though it may seem basic, I always try to capture a beautiful headshot of my seniors in their cap & gown, and that includes making sure the year faces the camera. Moms and dads love posting these photos on their social media and I love it when I scroll through my feed seeing all my seniors’ favorite photos!

Profesional Mesa Graduation PhotosClear cache

Get a Close-Up of the Tassel

Your tassel is a is a symbol of achievement. While your cap & gown may gather dust over the years, your tassel will likely be a keepsake for many years to come. I love how this shot focuses on her graduation year while it also shows off those gorgeous lashes!

Mesa Arizona Graduation Photos

Personality, Please!

I love it all and so will you! Sure, you can just sit there, I promise we’ll get the mom shot and everyone will love them. But when I told Kaitlyn to show me how excited she was to graduate, these ended up being some of their absolute favorites!

Senior Graduation Photos Mesa

Savannah was perfectly happy dancing her way through the desert in her cap and gown too. Just a simple prompt of “dance, twirl, and show me how happy you are” caused this adorable reaction from this Desert Ridge High School graduate!

Best Locations Senior Pictures Graduation

No Cap & Gown?

Yes, I know that Jostens often doesn’t deliver caps & gowns until just a couple of weeks before graduation. Of course I can’t fit every senior into that time frame but never fear, I’ve got the perfect solutions! First of all, I have several black caps & gowns in my Style Closet for clients to borrow, but unfortunately I don’t have every school’s tassel. It’s OK, I’ve got this!

  • Order a “souvenir tassel” from Josten’s. In prior years they have been delivered by January.
  • Borrow a tassel from your friend or sibling, something that has the right school colors but the wrong year. The charm pops off easily and you can simply order your own from Amazon. That is what I did with my daughter this year. I used her brother’s 2019 tassel and bought this bling year charm. It’s perfect! There are several styles to choose from too!
  • Want a decorated cap but your school doesn’t allow that for graduation? Amazon to the rescue again! Credit goes to my daughter who had this idea so when Josten’s wouldn’t allow us to order an extra cap, we found this.
  • Sometimes these options just aren’t possible, so wait until you get your cap & gown in the spring. All of my graduating seniors will be invited back in the spring for a few quick cap & gown shots! Yes, it’s free. It’s my way of thanking you and congratulating you…and getting to see you one last time before you head off to conquer the world!

 

 

Phoenix Senior Portraits | Professional Photography

Phoenix Senior Portraits | Professional Photography

Downtown Phoenix Photo Shoot

As a professional portrait photographer, it’s all about the light. My style is very light, bright, and true-to-life colors so Tally, being an artist herself, was a dream for me! Due to Covid restrictions, when I first met Tally she was wearing a mask. I never realized what a difference they make in my understanding a senior. During her consultation, I would have thought Tally would be one of those girls in flowy dresses and playing in the lake, a true boho styled photo shoot. Wrong!!! Tally is a wild creative that needed a colorful urban setting for her senior pictures. I had one picture from a 2017 senior that really stood out to Tally and she said multiple times that Mercy was her inspiration. She also mentioned that SHE wanted to be that type of inspiration for others. This girlie gives me goosebumps!

Gilbert Classical Academy Senior Pictures

I spend a lot of time hunting down the right colors and light for every shot. However, just sometimes, someone brings them to me. Tally Thompson was one of those lovely people.

 

Phoenix Senior Portraits Girls

Downtown Phoenix Senior Photography

An Artist’s Photo Shoot

I don’t need to tell you that triplets have a very special bond with her brothers. Tally envisioned using primary paint colors for these photos. She chose not only her favorite color (yellow!) to star in most pictures but also those of her brothers, Cole and Wyatt (blue and red.) Now, I’m not going to say it’s a coincidence, but these sibling favorites worked together perfectly for these crazy artistic images. I can’t tell you how fun this was for both of us. I was a little nervous about getting her messy during her photo shoot, so we chose to do a little pre-session shoot so we could paint her without worry. Because she had frames and no lenses (awesome idea, let me tell you!) we both laughed when I slid the paintbrush right through to avoid smudging and mixing colors. Certainly can’t do that with glasses on!

Phoenix Senior Portraits Paint

Downtown Phoenix Senior Photos

The colors may have helped to illuminate the photos. Still, Tally was the artist behind it all, making each photo into a vibrant masterpiece. I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t clicking away constantly through the shoot – she’s just so full of expressions and happiness!

Imaginative, Energetic, and Oh-So-Photogenic

Preferring a more urban feel, Tally suggested Downtown Phoenix as the setting for her senior photos. It was the right pick as I fear no other place could’ve matched her limitless energy. There was a lovely sense of freedom to Tally’s photo and posing ideas. I felt like the world thanked her for her optimism when the sun cracked over the city buildings giving me the perfect opportunity to catch this starburst!

Phoenix Senior Portraits Fun

I fully believe the perfect shoot requires us to collaborate, and Tally was of the exact same opinion. She allowed me the freedom to make suggestions on pretty much everything—however, no matter where, when, or how, she rolled with it. The camera just loved her, and how could it not? Nothing translates better than personality in photography, and Tally had buckets full with more to spare.

Showing her true colors through her senior photos

Tally let me know that “creativity is intelligence having fun,” and I couldn’t agree more. In fact, I think she may be the perfect example of it! We searched for fun backgrounds and “artsy” settings, even finding this “be kind” gem. Perfect? Yes I agree!

Downtown Phoenix Senior Portraits

Tally’s father bought her an easel just to use for the shoot, which really worked well to represent Tally’s love for art. Not to mention the paintbrushes and piles of paint!

Phoenix Senior Portraits Artist Painting

Phoenix Senior Portrait Photography

Looking towards a bright future

We took photos of Tally running since cross-country is one of her favorite hobbies. And she clearly excels at it, as can be seen from those sweet medal pictures!

Phoenix Senior Portraits Cross Country

Phoenix Senior Portraits Sports

Soon to graduate from Gilbert Classical Academy in 2021, Tally has dreams of attending Northern Arizona University. And wouldn’t you know it, secondary English education or art education are her top class picks. Since her creativity shines bright, I can only imagine the intelligence that lies behind it. She’ll go far in whatever she sets her mind to – she doesn’t need me wishing her luck!

Phoenix Senior Portrait Photographer

Best Job Ever

Did I love every moment of shooting Tally’s senior photos? Absolutely! But even better than that is that fact that I got to help her showcase the hobbies, activities, and interests that she loves. We were able to scour the city to find places and landmarks that perfectly highlight her creative personality, and we collaborated to showcase the things she loves in a collection of portraits she and her family will keep forever. Do I have the best job ever? You bet I do…down to the very last shutter click.

 

 

High School Senior Portrait Photography | Peek Behind the Scenes

High School Senior Portrait Photography | Peek Behind the Scenes

Your High School Senior Photo Shoot: A Not-So-Top-Secret Look Behind the Scenes

Everyone wants to know—but not everyone wants to ask—“What in the world actually happens at a photo shoot?” I’m about to give you the inside scoop so you’ll be ready to tackle your day with enthusiasm and kick the nerves to the curb. Hint: It’s probably a mix of some of the things you were thinking and a surprising amount of things you hadn’t even dreamed up. Trust me, your day in front of the camera lens is going to be all you imagined…and then some.

Choosing a Location

Don’t worry; you don’t have to choose just one! I like to wander during sessions to find unique spots. Sometimes you find a hidden gem when you least expect it, so bring comfy walking shoes. We’ll move around a lot during your photo shoot so I can capture you with as many different backgrounds and environments as possible. If we’re in a downtown area, we’ll easily walk several blocks to find the best locations for you.

Sometimes we go to popular areas like the Riparian Preserve or Nichols Park. Downtown Gilbert or a small local park are great because they are often less crowded and we’re able to get more creative shots and use the great backgrounds and colors that nature provides. Most high school seniors like a combination of both the natural elements AND a bit of the urban environment. When you’re with me, we cover a lot of ground—and that means we get a wide variety of shots.

C’mon, let’s take a look behind the scenes of what will make up your amazingly fun photo shoot!

Behind The Scenes

We typically arrive at our first location between 3:00-4:00 in the afternoon, depending on the weather, the sun, and the locations you’ve chosen. We’ll go through your outfits to determine which outfit will give the best vibes, which ones are “must-haves,” and you’ll use our portable changing room to change into your first outfit. My team and I will set up the equipment and take some test shots, and then we’ll be ready to capture some amazing shots of you in action! 

In this shoot, I am working with my clients, Trevor, a 17-year-old basketball athlete from Mesquite High School, and his mother, Gina. During our session, Gina snapped a few pictures of Trevor’s session and I thought it would be fun to show some behind the scenes pictures compared to the final senior portraits.

This red wall really isn’t anything special, but when paired with Trevor’s flannel shirt, the headshot is great! Couple that with some prompts to get that genuine smile, and it’s a win for both of us!

High School Senior Pictures Gilbert Photographer

High School Senior Pictures Guys Outfits

It’s All About Lighting

Well, if you’re gonna do basketball pictures, we need a basketball court. Gina told me about a great park near their home with a nice basketball court. While this was a great opportunity to highlight Trevor’s love of basketball, I needed to assess the location and lighting—and we had to be careful because often, neighborhood parks can be crowded, making it tough to get the shots we’re after.

Gina was able to snap a few casual pics for me so that I could determine the layout of the park, including potential lighting issues, landscaping, and other details. The park was at street level with a lot of trees, so I instantly knew I could shoot great photos without houses distracting the scene. Score!

It’s not uncommon to find me climbing a ladder or laying on the ground to get the exact shot I want. Sometimes we just get creative and see what the results are! These shots really show what it’s like behind the scenes!

High School Senior Pictures Basketball

High School Senior Pictures Sports

As the sun went down and we were done with action shots, it was time to pull out the lights. Since Gina is a huge Dallas Cowboys fan, she also chose to paint a ball silver and the results were even better than we’d hoped! 

High School Senior Pictures Gilbert Athlete

High School Senior Pictures Sports Letterman Jacket

After Dark

We were having such a great time we kept shooting after dark. After a quick uniform change, we captured even more unique basketball shots. The sun sets quickly, and with the off camera lighting we can choose how much of the background to include in each photo offering plenty of variety.

High School Senior Pictures Basketball Player

Trendy Night Shots

If you want nighttime portraits—a popular photo trend for the Class of 2021—then we continue shooting into the evening. Downtown Gilbert is a favorite nighttime location, even if it’s just the edge of a parking lot or parking garage!

High School Senior Pictures Gilbert Photographer After Dark  High School Senior Pictures Guys Suit

High School Senior Pictures Downtown Gilbert

Highlighting Your Hobbies and Interests

Many high school seniors choose to include their sports because it might be the final games of their career. Trevor added basketball in several ways. We chose to start with Trevor’s Mesquite high school uniform (shown above) and a standard basketball. You want your senior in a suit and tie? No problem! It’s an incredible look and trust me, the guys love it when we combine this snazzy look with their favorite sport.

High School Senior Pictures Gilbert Photographer Night

High School Senior Pictures Gilbert Photographer Sports

You don’t play sports?

This is actually a very common concern with my high school seniors! “But I don’t play sports, I’m not active in clubs, I’m just a regular teenager!” Well, one solution is to include your favorite pro sports team, as Trevor did. Now, his was even more awesome because he has a personalized Phoenix Suns jersey! However, any of your favorite sports teams would work. Don’t overlook your college team!

Gilbert High School Senior Pictures Basketball

High School Senior Pictures Behind The Scenes

Or how about the college you’re attending? It just so happens that Trevor got an academic scholarship to the University of Arizona in Tucson!!!!!

High School Senior Pictures College Shirt

Finishing the Photo Session

Most daytime photo shoots take 2 – 3 hours. I like to end the day by making sure we have at least 35 great shots. A checklist includes basic poses, close-up shots, and even some candid fun and funny shots of you being your quirky self. Whatever makes your personality shine through, that’s what I’m looking for—and that’s what I’ll capture in senior portraits. 

Your memories of high school should be cherished. I will work with you to create a modern, authentic plan. When you trust me to capture your look, personality, and style in high-quality professional images, you’ll be proud to share your high school portraits with friends and family!

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