Beautiful Senior Photos | Gilbert High School | East Valley Photographer

Beautiful Senior Photos | Gilbert High School | East Valley Photographer

Gilbert High School Senior Photos

As a portrait photographer for Gilbert High School, I want your senior photos to exceed your expectations! One of the biggest compliments I get is receiving a message from a mom who you haven’t seen in years! I hadn’t seen Alynna since she was probably 10 years old. She was on the same gymnastics team as our daughter, Alex. Back then, I’m not even sure how many senior photo shoots I had done, but what a great surprise to see them again. Now that I specialize in high school seniors, I was able to take her out for an afternoon and make sure she had the best senior portrait experience she could imagine!

Waterfalls: Choosing the Right Outfit

I think this is one of my favorite outdoor locations. I love having the girls sit on the rocks and splash! However, this is one of those settings where wardrobe can make or break the photo. In order to have these lovely images in the water, I prefer to have my seniors wear a white or light colored flowing dress. If you don’t have one, we have them in our Style Closet. In fact, Alynna was planning on using one of ours, but found this one in the back of her closet. Really?!?! You FOUND this just hanging there, unused, with the tags attached? But it’s perfect!!! The sheer skirt and sleeves are so feminine and the white really shows off her beautiful skin!

Beautiful Gilbert Senior Photos

      

Birthday Photos for Teens

Wait, who says balloons are for kids? Certainly not me! Bring those balloons and let’s celebrate! Celebrate your birthday or graduation by including some huge oversized balloons! It was just our luck that Alynna’s birthday was the same week as her senior photo shoot. 

Cap & Gown Graduation Photos

Planning ahead can make all the difference for your senior photos. Most local schools don’t give you your cap & gown until just a few weeks before graduation, but Alynna already had her tassle (yay!!!) and was able to use her older sister’s cap & gown for the afternoon! They both had the same honors from Gilbert High School, so we were all set! Keep in mind, you don’t have to wear the cap & gown for every shoot, we mix and match! Sometimes we leave the gown open to show off another outfit. Sometimes we focus on just the tassel and those gorgeous eyelashes! 

Both the had and the dress are from our Style Closet. Did you know we have dozens of outfits that are available for your senior photos? We even do have a cap & gown! 

Graduation! 

This was one of Alynna’s top requests for senior photos. It’s not easy, and it took quite a few shots, but the result is fabulous! One of Gilbert High School’s graduation traditions is for the seniors to toss all their homework in the hallways. So Alynna had saved up allllllll her homework, notes, and papers just for this! The final image is actually a composite of 9 images and is definitely our favorite! We used it on her custom graduation announcements so all of her friends and family will have this as a 5x7 print!

Now scheduling senior pictures for the Class of 2020!
www.magicalmemoriesbymichelle.com
(480) 779-7797

Senior Photos Michelle Robetson

Senior Photos | The Surprising Side of Senior Pictures | Mesa, AZ

Senior Photos | The Surprising Side of Senior Pictures | Mesa, AZ

From the day these little ones were born, they’ve tested us. It’s been a constant learning curve filled with every emotion imaginable. Well, hold on to your hats and glasses, but with graduation coming you’re in for a whole new roller coaster of emotions! Did you catch my Disneyland reference there? I had to do it! Anyway, you’ve spent years trying to prepare your kids for the world after high school and I know you’ve always researched what you think is best for them. You tested every toy, visited all the top schools, and managed to find a car that would meet your critical safety standards. You’ve helped with projects, packed lunches, and managed to get them to practice all these years. And now, that little piece of your life is changing. Forever. I understand that it can be overwhelming, I’ve recently been through it myself and have a second one graduating next year, so I want to tell you parents a secret about the best part of senior year–the memories. Most East Valley high schools require you to use their contracted photographer for the yearbook photo, but senior photos are so much more than they used to be!

A boost in self-confidence? Who knew?

As a senior photographer for over 10 years, I was shocked when I heard girls say how pretty they felt. And then be embarrassed for feeling like that!  Um, so I’m over here scratching my head. It was that moment, mostly in that 2016-2017 school year, that I really decided that this just one reason senior photos are so important!  I can capture teenagers through my eyes, what I see. The beauty, the joy, the talent, the personality and so much more. All the things you already know are there, but they just don’t believe you. I get it, I have a now-16-year-old and her confidence has come a long way in 3 years. By showing them what I see, it can make a huge difference in how they see themselves. It is so awesome to hear a girl say “wow, I really am pretty!” Have the guys give you that look, and just cannot contain the smile no matter how much they try to hide it. Because they’re proud, they’re excited, and they really truly didn’t believe they could look this good! It works for both guys and girls, and it is a game changer for a lot of kids. Of course they’re still gonna have those moments, but my hope is that inside they know. Deep down, they remember these pictures. They see them around your home. They see the joy on your face when you proudly display these photos. It’s my goal as a photographer to make every single one of my teenagers feel this way. I promise, all of my teens are just regular, normal, kids…until I work my magic!

Senior Photos Urban Denim Fashion Mesa AZ

Just yearbook photos or is there more?

You know the ones. The awkward smile, the uncomfortable pose. Many schools still send the seniors to a contracted photographer where they will take a few nice pictures, but it’s just that. A few nice pictures. Some schools don’t even do that anymore. It’s the same whether you’re a freshman or a senior. Line up, click, click, you’re done. Then you have this embarrassing photo to display…for the rest of your life. I cringe just thinking about it. But these days, senior photos are filled with fun and creativity! Our senior sessions will have your teen laughing, spinning, running, and tossing their hair all resulting in gorgeous, authentic reactions!  Your teen will no long cringe at the thought of having their photos displayed in your home! How do I know? Nearly every single one of our Class of 2019 seniors had something created for their room! Yep, storyboards and metals including their favorite quotes are a huge hit!

Senior Photos Wrestling Sports Mesa AZ

More than just good pictures

You think adulting is hard? Try being a teenager! We’ve all been there, we KNOW how hard it was for us and I believe it’s even harder now. These kids are subjected to the perfection of social media all day, every day. And of course they believe all this perfection is a normal, everyday occurrence for other teens. So I love giving my teens that picture perfect experience, and for just one day, the world revolves around them! And YOU get to be a part of it! Moms love hanging out with us during the photo shoot! It gives you both a break from the never-ending to-do list that seems to multiply daily during senior year! You know how I mentioned how my heart just explodes when these teens get that boost of self-esteem? Imagine being able to watch it happen. And it does! Don’t be surprised when you’re son suddenly is really into senior photos or your daughter starts pulling out her hidden modeling skills! They come out of their shell really quick when they’re the center of attention! Now, imagine having these stunning photos displayed in your home for you to see every day…multiple images to show off, not just two or three. While they’re away growing up, creating new adventures in college or building a career, you’ll still have their smiling face to comfort you. Remember when we were kids, how much fun it was to flip through the family photo album? Yep, we can do that too. Just imaging having a beautiful, high quality album filled with all your teen’s stunning images for you to look through together, to gush over, and when the time comes, share with their children. Now stop imagining, and know that we can make it a reality. 

Senior Photos Girls Sunglasses Mesa AZ

Leave them to the pros

Did you find yourself nodding your head as you read through this post? Are you thinking to yourself, dang, this is definitely something I need to do for my kid? If so, make sure that you choose a professional. Remember at the beginning where we talked about educating yourself and giving your child the best? It applies here as well. As with most things, you get what you pay for and professionals can provide all of the above and more. You might find someone who is pretty good at taking pictures and can do one or two of the things above, but when it all comes together, it creates an experience for your senior and photos you can cherish for years to come. It should be a special event designed by a photographer who specializes in these sessions, not an afterthought left to someone who knows how to press a button. I guide my seniors throughout the process so they know exactly what to expect, what to wear, and how to pose. You should have a variety of images that create a complete story of your teenager at this age, not just a few mediocre pictures.

Senior Photos Lake Mesa AZ

Did you find this post helpful? Here is some more information about our senior portrait experience.

Now scheduling senior pictures for the Class of 2020!
www.magicalmemoriesbymichelle.com
(480) 779-7797

Senior Photos Michelle Robetson

7 Tips for Choosing the Best Photographer for Senior Pictures

7 Tips for Choosing the Best Photographer for Senior Pictures

7 Tips for Choosing the Best Photographer for Senior Pictures

There are thousands of photographers out there, so how do you know which one is the best photographer for your senior pictures? How do you choose? What should you look for? How do you make that decision when there are thousands of photographers? Not all sessions are the same, so you’ll need to decide what’s important to you! These tips are designed to make sure that you’re picking the perfect senior photographer to capture your senior year!

Tip #1: Do your research.

Ask around. Ask other moms and seniors about their experiences with photographers that they’ve used. Additionally, you should ask each photographer you are considering for references and reviews. Check the photographer’s social media. Dig through their website to see if their style matches yours. When you’ve done all of that, make sure that you feel confident that you will be comfortable spending an hour or more with this person. You want to feel a connection not only to their work but to them. Again, you only experience senior year once. Make your senior portrait session count!

A good way to gauge what your experience with a photographer will be like is by noting how quickly they respond to your emails, calls, or texts. Does it take days or do you usually hear back from them within 24 hours? It’s important to have reasonable expectations and to realize that you are not their only client, but you also want to feel like you are important to them. Make sure that you have a good feeling when you communicate with your photographer. Are they excited about your shoot? Are they giving you helpful advice?  (Psssst…my goal is to make EVERY client feel like my ONLY client!)

Bests Photographer AZ Senior Pictures

Tip #2: Don’t let price alone dictate your decision.

I get it. Teenagers are expensive! Car insurance, prom, college, life…it’s never ending! Price is the first thing that most people ask about. Don’t let price be the roadblock to getting the look and experience you want! These are your senior photos! If you go with the cheapest photographer or have a friend take them, are you going to get images you love?  Will you have envy or regret about your senior pictures?  This is a rite of passage, one of the most important milestones of your teenage years.

Find someone you love and believe will deliver the best experience and images! You’re only going to do this once!  And this is super important…try to find someone who will guide you through the process, help with styling, and offer ideas for product selection. While there are times to hire a hobbyist, hiring a professional is definitely worth it when it comes to senior pictures.

I know there is a wide range of prices out there, and I know I’m on the high end, but that’s because of what I offer and what I deliver for each and every client.

Tip #3: Choose a photographer that specializes in senior pictures.

Many photographers think it is best to offer a little of everything, and some do it very well! I used to be that photographer, the one who took newborns and families, seniors and engagements, pretty much anything that was requested. Over the years it became very obvious that my true passion is working with teens and seniors, and when you love what you do, it makes all the difference in the world!

If a photographer only works with a few seniors here and there, they may not be the best choice. Being an amazing family or newborn photographer doesn’t mean that they’re as good at photographing seniors (although they may be!). This is why it’s important to ask to see a full session and really look at their portfolio before making a decision. Are there a lot of different seniors shown? Do they show both guys and girls? You want to be sure that you hire a photographer who is an expert and knows how to help you look and feel your best. You’ll also want to be sure you’re not just a number to them, but a priority. If you hire a wedding photographer, they will likely be focused on brides. If you hire a newborn photographer, they’ll be great at posing babies but may not be able to help with styling.

By specializing in senior pictures, it allows me to keep up with trends, have a dedicated Style Closet, and have years of experience working with teenagers. My first seniors were the Class of 2011, and after a few years I began only doing sessions for teens and seniors. Now, I get recognized regularly by industry leaders and published in magazines!

Best Photographer AZ

Tip #4: Choose a Professional Photographer

One of the most important tips for your senior pictures is choose a professional photographer!  You’re only a high school senior once, so why not hire the best? These days, anyone can buy a “good camera” and “become a photographer.”  It is a great hobby!  But for your senior pictures, please be sure to choose a professional. You don’t want someone who is just starting out to document such an important milestone!  I’m a full time professional photographer. My goal is to produce beautiful, timeless portraits for you.  This isn’t a weekend gig or something I do just for fun.  Think twice before you ask your BFF with a cell phone or your favorite uncle. While they might be good, they do not have the skills and artistry to capture your unique personality in photographs, and have limited time behind the lens.

You also want to make sure that if it’s required, your photographer has permission and/or a permit to use the location you select. This is a HUGE deal and a big difference between a professional photographer and a hobbyist! While it maybe isn’t always required, it is always best to ask if you’re in a public place! Some of the parks require permits for day use, some places strictly prohibit photography. Please be respectful on their decisions. I’ve used restaurants, stores, and even private residences…but never without asking first!

Professional photographers have standards to uphold and are always improving their skills to you the best. This is done for a reason! I want you to be confident that I will produce amazing portraits for you!

Tip #5: Take your session to the next level.

Who doesn’t want to feel amazing when they are being photographed? Being pampered on the day of your session is not only fun but it will make you feel more confident and beautiful. Find out if the photographer has a professional hair and makeup artist to help you achieve the look you want. Make sure that the photographer is willing to meet with you before your session! It is often hard to open up to someone you’ve never met. Find someone who is easy to reach and responds to your questions. You don’t want this to be a stressful photo shoot!  Getting helpful advice and knowing exactly what to expect at the session is a plus and goes a long way to calm nerves and make both you and your parents feel confident.

Tip #6: The truth about portfolio building.

Often people will try to cut costs by hiring a new photographer or someone who is portfolio building, but here’s why that can be a problem. Are you paying for a senior session that represents you or for your photographer to build their portfolio? I always remind my clients that this is their time, not mine. I’m here to provide my talent and experience but it’s not my session, it’s yours! I’m happy to suggest locations that offer interesting backgrounds or give a certain vibe. If you’re unsure about what to wear, I’m happy to help you choose outfits. This is all part of a photographer’s job!

However, if a photographer is telling you what they want for your session, it’s important to ask yourself if the photo shoot is more about them than it is about you. Your input and creative expression are key! If you need ideas, I’m full of them, but even when I use similar ideas or locations, I don’t want your pictures to look to like your friends’ pictures. I want you to have something different! Is there a limit on locations or outfits? Often photographers will only let you change once or twice, or don’t have a place for you to change if you’re outdoors. Be sure you get all the details before you commit!

Tip #7: Include your parents.

This may seem like an odd thing to look for in a senior photographer, but it’s still essential. Having one or both of your parents involved in the session is important! Make sure the photographer allows a parent to be present at the shoot at all times. A good senior photographer will shoot for both you and your parents and provide you with images that everyone in your family will love. A few sessions this spring I had both Mom & Dad at the photo shoot and it was phenomenal! It makes me feel like we’re all in this together! (And just as I typed that I heard High School Musical in my head, which wasn’t intentional!) Plus, sometimes I convince them to step in for a quick picture. Go ahead, let the tears roll down your face.

There you have it! I hope that these tips have been helpful and will help you pick the best photographer for you. If you think we might be a good fit, I’d love to meet you and offer you a free in-person consultation.

Now scheduling senior pictures for the Class of 2020!
www.magicalmemoriesbymichelle.com
(480) 779-7797

Senior Photos Michelle Robetson

Phoenix Senior Pictures | Saint Mary’s High School

Phoenix Senior Pictures | Saint Mary’s High School

Phoenix Senior Pictures

Oh, so much fun! When I met Cassandra and her mom I knew the session for this St. Mary’s high school student would be fabulous! We had similar ideas, she loved the idea of being near the water, and fit beautifully into some of my favorite outfits from our style closet!  

The Most Important Part of the Family

Phoenix Senior Pictures Dogs

She knows she’s important…and I’m not talking about the graduate! I’m talking about your furry friend, of course! So yes, Cassandra brought her beautiful pit bull for the beginning of her session. We use a large open area to allow our four legged clients to run in a safe space. And then we get smiles from both the senior and the dogs! Look at that face! They are both so adorable! 

Style Closet for Our Seniors

We know you probably have a ton of great clothes, but wouldn’t it be fun to mix it up with even more choices? The darling blue romper above, as well as these super cute daisy sunglasses are both available during your senior pictures!

Saint Mary's Phoenix Senior Pictures Girls

The Lake

Once we finished at our first location, we headed to the lake. I know it’s not the easiest task to take Phoenix senior pictures by the water, but there are definitely some options nearby. Cassandra chose to try out this brand new hat with our gorgeous floral romper, both from our Style Closet! The white dress in the water? Yep, that’s from our Style Closet too! It really is the perfect outfit for the water and we have several sizes available. 

Phoenix Senior Pictures Fashion

 Most girls tiptoe slowly into the water and I guide them until they’re in the right spot. Not Cassandra! I turned to change my lens for just a minute and the next thing I knew she was in this deep! This is definitely one of my favorite locations if you like to be near the water. The reflections and the sunlight are just beautiful!

Phoenix Senior Pictures Outdoors Lake

College Bound

Cassandra will be heading to Benedictine College this fall! Bringing your college shirt to include in your senior pictures is a wonderful idea! Paired with her denim skirt and Vans, this will be a beautiful memory for years to come. With such mixed emotions before heading off to college, you’re definitely gonna want to remember this! 

Phoenix Senior Pictures Outdoors

Different Senior Pictures: Portraits After Dark

Depending on which session you choose, we might be out after dark! After a recent session in this same location, I came across the Coke machine and just needed the right girl to make it work! Cassandra was all into it and even brought a Coke bottle! 

St. Mary's High School Senior Picutres 

I’m so lucky to have a handy young lady to help with this dress! I bought this dress online to add to our Style Closet, but the straps were way too long. I’ve had a number of girls try it on and it was always too long, and I just didn’t have time to fix it. When Cassandra tried it on, it clearly was a favorite! So I had her take it home, snip the straps to where she needed them, and do a quick stitch to have it ready for her photo shoot! Good thing too…again with the red shoes! And the back of the dress is just as beautiful! Photos from behind aren’t something you might think about, but it is a great way to show off your profile and hair too! 

Saint Mary's Phoenix Senior Pictures    

The Perfect Pair

This polka dot outfit from our Style Closet is easily one of my favorites! But paired with these awesome red heels from Forever 21? The outfit, the smile, the hair…perfection! 

 Night Time Urban Senior Pictures

Three Reasons Our Clients Love Our Phoenix Senior Pictures

  1. Artistic: Every image is unique. They aren’t just cropped differently but have different poses and expressions for a huge variety. We use various lighting and multiple locations so your gallery definitely won’t look like your friend’s senior pictures!
  2. Style Closet: We have an exclusive Style Closet that has so many fun options! Add dress, tops, and accessories and feel like million bucks without breaking the bank!
  3. Dogs: We encourage our senior portrait clients to bring their pets. Often they’ve had the dog for many years and maybe have never had professional portraits with them. Of course, we always make sure to get a few of the pup alone. Gotta love those cute furry faces!

If you’re interested in more of our favorite senior pictures for girls, check out these sessions!
Adrienne, EVIT
Briana, Hamilton High School
Kenzie, Queen Creek High School

 

Now Scheduling Senior Pictures for the Class of 2020!
Contact us today to get started!
www.magicalmemoriesbymichelle.com
(480) 779-7797

 

Senior Photos Michelle Robetson

Senior Pictures at Night | Downtown Chandler Senior Pictures

Senior Pictures at Night | Downtown Chandler Senior Pictures

Senior Pictures at Night

You have many choices for your senior pictures, so Magical Memories by Michelle offers something that not many other photographers do, and that is having your senior portraits taken at night! We start about an hour or so before sunset and once the sun goes down we keep shooting in the city lights!

Downtown Chandler

One of my favorite locations for senior photo shoots after dark is Downtown Chandler. By shooting during the week we avoid the crowds and parking, and you get something fabulous added to your gallery of senior pictures! These beautiful images of Briana were taken near the parking lot of the Chandler Public Library. I love the way the city lights glow in the background!

 

Chandler Senior Pictures at Night

We moved just across the street to get some more images with that beautiful nighttime bokeh, which is a photography term for the blurry, out of focus backgrounds we all love! Briana’s boyfriend joined us for these last few images and his jokes and comments brought out some fun expressions from Briana.

Downtown Chandler Senior Pictures at Night

Of course the color images are always fabulous, but all of our sessions include some black and white portraits as well. This is one of my favorite black & white images of Briana!

Chandler Senior Pictures Black & White

As I mentioned earlier, this was only part of Briana’s photo shoot! Be sure to check out more of her senior pictures where we incorporated her Jeep and took some beautiful gymnastics pictures! If you’re looking for something to make your senior pictures a little different, give us a call so we can start planning with you!  

Now scheduling senior pictures for the Class of 2020!
www.magicalmemoriesbymichelle.com
(480) 779-7797

Senior Photos Michelle Robetson

 

Hamilton Senior Pictures | Chandler Photographer

Hamilton Senior Pictures | Chandler Photographer

Downtown Chandler Senior Pictures

Senior pictures in Downtown Chandler and the surrounding areas are so much fun! There is such variety. We can find everything from rustic to green to urban! Plus it is a great place to shoot senior pictures at night! 

Graffiti Walls

Graffiti walls are very popular for senior pictures, so we found this fun wall with lots of options. Keep in mind, this is just off the side of the road. As with many of my favorite places, there isn’t really an address or specific parking, which is why I prefer to load everything in my van and go together. 

Senior Pictures Chandler Graffiti Wall

Including Your Car for Senior Pictures

Below you can see another image that includes more of the wall, as well as our next stop, which included Briana’s Jeep. I love the simple clothing she chose! If you’re unsure about what to wear for senior pictures, simple is best. I love the cute tank top and white shorts. It’s a great contrast with the black Jeep! And as always, bring your sunglasses! 

Over the years, many of my favorite locations have been demolished. Such is the case near Downtown Chandler. Instead, we found a dead end road and with a little Photoshop help to remove fences, you’d never know! Photoshop also came in handy for the Jeep pictures since there was a small dent. 

So Beautiful! 

Bri is a very talented gymnast and I was able to convince her to do some jumps for me. The result is this gorgeous silhouette taken at Tumbleweed Park in Chandler. This is the perfect example of being able to image the outcome before you click the shutter. Check out our Facebook page or Instagram to see the before and after of this shot!

I also recommend that gymnasts bring chalk and grips, as well as medals. Bri was the all-around champion at Westerns last year, so she chose to bring those medals.

Checklist for Gymnasts

I’ve photographed many gymnasts over the years and here is the list that I use. Place chalk in a Ziploc bag, then put that bag zipped into another bag. Let’s just say I’ve learned from experience. Cleaning up spilled chalk isn’t easy!

  • Competition Leotard
  • Warm Ups
  • Grips
  • Chalk
  • Medals
  • Wipes (to clean up after our chalk fun!)

 

Senior Photos Michelle Robetson