Perry High School | Ocotillo Golf Club | Chandler Senior Pictures

Perry High School | Ocotillo Golf Club | Chandler Senior Pictures

Perry High School Senior Pictures

Connor is a recent graduate from Perry High School in Chandler, AZ. You may have seen his baseball photos in a recent post and I wanted to share more from his session!

Ocotillo Golf Club

We started the afternoon at Ocotillo Golf Club, which offered us this gorgeous indoor location. It’s a great spot for guys when they choose to include a suit and tie for their senior pictures. Which, by the way, is one of my favorite looks! I used to tell the guys to just be casual because I wanted them to be comfortable. But seriously, when you dress up you just look and feel more confident! Plus, mom will love these! 

 

Outdoor Senior Pictures

Next, we headed outside to use some of the beautiful scenery. Take note, Connor is dressed from head to toe in every image. Always remember to bring the right shoes and socks for every look! Oh yes, the socks. Please make sure you don’t have white socks that show under your jeans! Connor completed this look with his Vans. 

I like my seniors to look natural, and what is more authentic than a teenager with his phone? Ocotillo Golf Course has been very generous allowing us to use the location as long as we plan ahead and ask first. And of course, we don’t interfere with the golfers. Please do not just assume you can use this location, or any location, without asking. Part of being a professional photographer is knowing how to handle photo shoots in public locations. 

With eyes like these, you bet I’m gonna get some close up pictures to show them off! How can you resist those amazing blue eyes?!

Perry High School Senior Pictures Chandler

Published!

Senior Year Magazine Top Photographer AZ

Certain times of the year I enter images to be published in various magazines. That is why it is so important to have your model release signed prior to your senior photo shoot. This is the perfect example of a simple senior portrait. No special outfit or location, just a simple image of Connor looking out the window. But with the perfect lighting, it takes an image from average to amazing! 

This spring I entered this image of Connor for publication in Senior Year Magazine. They had an issue just for guys, and if you know my business, you know I shoot just as many senior portraits for guys as I do for girls. Sometimes even more! This image was published in Senior Year Magazine’s Spring Edition: Guys. So if you want your image in a magazine, let’s get you scheduled and maybe your image will be selected for publication!

Please be sure to check out Connor’s baseball senior pictures here! Just for fun, if you want to see some pictures of Connor when he was younger, check out this session. We can’t forget his sister, Kelci! I did her senior pictures as a 2015 Perry High School graduate. I love working with families through the years and watching their children grow!

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

Senior Photos Michelle Robetson Save & Exit

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

Baseball Senior Pictures | Perry High School | Varsity Sports

Baseball Senior Pictures | Perry High School | Varsity Sports

Baseball Senior Pictures

Many of our clients are high school seniors who participate in varsity sports, but I’m not sure if I’ve ever had baseball senior pictures quite like these! Amy and I talked quite a bit about including baseball for Connor’s senior pictures.  While Connor has played baseball for as long as I can remember, this would be his last season in a Perry baseball uniform. These pictures hold a special place in my heart, knowing that over the years they will become even more priceless to him and his family. 

Side note: If you recognize Connor, it’s because he’s been around for awhile. I’ve had multiple sessions with the Abernethy kids, including Connor’s sister Kelci, who graduated in 2015. It’s just thrilling when you get to watch your clients go from kids to teens to high school graduates to adults!

Scheduling Your Senior Pictures

I know, athletes are tough! Between games, practice, school, studying, they’re often lucky to even remember to eat and sleep! If you play both club and high school sports, squeezing in senior pictures can definitely be a challenge! Here’s a tip. Do your best to schedule your senior pictures in the off season! If you play football or other fall sports, plan for a spring portrait session. If you run cross country, play baseball, or other spring sports, aim for having your pictures taken in the fall. Luckily, even with Connor’s schedule, we managed to have his pictures done in the spring…and then we just found an open baseball field! 

Our first stop was straight to the dugout. With equipment ready, I got this fun shot showing off his graduating year. I rarely show both a color and a black & white image in my blog posts, but in this case I really do love both! When you come for your Reveal & Design, you’ll see that not all images are edited in black & white, but there will definitely be a few. 

With eyes like these, you bet I’m gonna get some close up pictures to show them off!

Since this was our third and final location, it was started to get dark, so we pulled out the lights for some gorgeous action shots. That one of Connor reaching over the fence? That one definitely warrants a huge shout-out to Glen, Connor’s dad. As a photographer himself, he knew the best location for the softbox would be on the other side of the fence, so he climbed over and somehow managed to hold it in just the right spot while we had Connor run full speed at the fence to catch a ball. 

 

Baseball Senior Pictures Action Shots Chandler AZ

 

        

Composite Sports Artwork

This composite is a little different. We stopped in Chandler to get some images of Connor in his regular clothes, knowing that I’d use the brick wall for a composite. Love how it turned out!

Baseball Senior Pictures Sports Perry Chandler AZ

Instagram Features in Senior Guys Style and Senior Year Magazine

I posted this shot of Connor tossing the baseball to my Instagram, and almost immediately it was featured by both Senior Year Magazine and Senior Guys Style! How cool is that? Both of these accounts feature high school senior pictures from some of the industry’s best photographers. There is nothing better than showing off your seniors on national Instagram accounts! 

Senior Guys Style Featured Photographer

I just couldn’t fit it all into one post, so this is only part of Connor’s senior portrait session. Don’t miss the rest of his senior pictures!

Would you like to see more senior sessions featured sports? You might like these!
Matthew, Hamilton High School
Briana, Hamilton High School
Aaron, Mesquite High School

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

Senior Photos Michelle Robetson Save & Exit

Award Winning Senior Pictures Published in Senior Year Magazine

Award Winning Senior Pictures Published in Senior Year Magazine

Award Winning Senior Pictures 

This is so exciting!!! I’m proud to announce that three of our Class of 2019 guys have had senior pictures published in Senior Year Magazine! The spring issue featured only guys, and since I had so many amazing senior guys this year I just had to enter! The competition is tough, so you never know if your images will be accepted. To have FIVE images in this edition? Speechless!

   

Congratulations to the Class of 2019 senior guys, Connor Abernethy, Nicholas Convis, and Trevor Robertson! Here are their winning images!

 

 

Connor Abernethy

The Abernethy family holds a very special place in my heart. I’ve known them for years, since their oldest daughter and Alex were on the same gymnastics team. Connor, with those gorgeous blue eyes, always brings his best when he’s in front of the camera. He’ll do whatever I ask, even if it seems weird. I give him prompts to help with emotion, and he can even raise just ONE eyebrow! So to have one of his senior pictures published and surprise Amy with this news over the weekend was thrilling!

Nicholas Convis

Nicholas probably had the same reaction most guys have when we first meet for a consultation. Senior pictures? Ugh! But again, once I found out his dad has a Mustang, things started looking a lot better to him! So you take this already handsome senior guy, grab the jacket and tie, and it all just falls into place! This is the type of image that some people love and some people hate, just a personal preference. The sun flare is actually shot this way in camera, not added in Photoshop. Fancy location? Nope, just the top of a parking garage in Mesa! Not surprising, Nicholas’ dad has this one as a 16x24 in his office. 

Award Winning Senior Pictures Cars Mesa AZ

Trevor Robertson

Yes, he’s my son. I’ll be the first to say I never thought in a million years I’d get senior pictures I love this much! He loves them, Dad loves them, it’s the best! Trevor had three of his images chosen for the spring edition of Senior Year Magazine, all from the same session. I was able to borrow a 1965 Shelby Cobra, and at the time I’m not sure even Trevor knew how awesome this was! 

Award Winning Senior Pictures Guys Mesa AZ

Award Winning Senior Pictures Sports Cars Mesa AZ 

 

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

Senior Photos Michelle Robetson Save & Exit

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

Mesquite Senior Pictures | Track Athlete | Gilbert, Arizona

Mesquite Senior Pictures | Track Athlete | Gilbert, Arizona

Mesquite Senior Pictures

If you’re a high school senior, you’ll definitely want to include your favorite sport for your senior pictures. That was the case with Aaron, who is a track athlete for Mesquite High School in Chandler, AZ. Aaron is a Class of 2019 graduate who came to us at the very beginning of his senior year. We didn’t actually do his photo shoot until January, but this gave him plenty of time to prepare and finalize exactly what he wanted. 

Even though his mom and dad live in different states, they decided that the professional senior pictures, experience, and heirloom quality artwork was something that was important enough to splurge on for their only son. I knew after our consultation that our Luxury Image Box would be a great product for this family since it would hold a lot of pictures and give them the flexibility to display and change out photos easily. I wanted to be sure we had a wide variety of images that could fill their image box with beautiful senior pictures.

Senior Pictures at the Track

We started Aaron’s photo shoot at Mesquite High School so we could take some amazing sports images of Aaron in action. He was fully prepared with his track uniform, warm ups, and all his gear. I knew we wanted a gorgeous sun flare image showing the Mesquite scoreboard, as well as images of Aaron sprinting. Now, it wasn’t terribly hot that day but in Arizona…well, it can be warm just about any day! I hadn’t really planned on him going all out for me, but he did, and boy did it pay off! The intensity and drive on his face shows exactly how determined he is!

Tumbleweed Park in Chandler

We had decided ahead of time that Downtown Chandler and Tumbleweed Park would be great locations to include for Aaron’s senior pictures. Aaron loved the idea of this old, rustic truck, which is quite popular for our seniors. Mom will always love a gorgeous images of her son smiling, and with a smile like this, it was definitely a favorite! I probably had to crack a few dumb jokes to get these authentic smiles, but that’s what part of my job. I’ll give you tips to look natural instead of stiff and posed. 

Mesquite Chandler Senior Pictures Guys

Composite Sports Artwork

While I’ve been creating these images for years, my clients still love them! We take a simple image of the senior in front of a textured wall, leaving enough room to add a sports image next to him. Then we find a great sports image, superimpose, magic, and there you go! Definitely one of our most requested products and it looks amazing printed on our Signature Silk photographic paper!

The Skateboard

If you know me, you know I love The Big Bang Theory, so this shirt made me smile. While it isn’t part of his normal wardrobe, both Aaron and his mom wanted to incorporate his skateboard and clothing from his younger teen years. Rather than just taking some basic holding his board, we put him in action again, and again, and again, in order to catch the perfect shot! Fancy location? Nope, just the side of the road with a street light behind him, but with proper off camera lighting, we were able to create this great shot at dusk!

    

Suit and Tie for the Guys

I’m a very casual person, I live in t-shirts and denim shorts nearly all year here in AZ. I didn’t used to push too hard to my seniors to bring nice clothes, since I wanted to capture their true essence. Then I had a senior guy a few years ago with a white shirt, tie, and suspenders, and that was the beginning of my love for these images! Especially at night, the guys just look stunning and it really helps boost their self confidence. They’re adults now, so to see themselves looking all handsome in a suit and tie and think of them heading into the adult world? It’s nothing short of fantastic! If I can encourage even a little extra self confidence in every senior that walks through my door, I’ll be a happy camper!

Featured in Senior Guys Style

Just after I finished editing Aaron’s images, I posted this gorgeous shot to my Instagram and it wasn’t long before it was selected to be featured on Senior Guys Style! Their account features high school senior guys from the the best senior portrait photographers worldwide. I was excited, Aaron was excited, and of course mom got to show off her son even more!

 

Senior Guys Style Featured Photographer

Include Mom for Your Senior Pictures

She’s been there for you since day one. She loves you more than you’ll ever know. So yes, this needed to happen. I haven’t done it very often but for some reason this night, I asked Melissa to step in for a just a few quick shots. Instead of fussing over her hair and makeup saying she wasn’t ready, she proudly stepped in beaming with pride! I hope this picture brings them smiles and tears for years to come. Yes, mom cried when she saw it for the first time. 

Boys have a very special relationship with their moms which is truly evident in this picture. I found a poem that fit perfectly, and we used it on Aaron’s image box. 

Sons do grow into men
and no longer play with toys.
But in our hearts as mothers,
they’ll always be our little boys.

Want to see more Hamilton and Mesquite senior pictures? Here are a couple blog posts you might enjoy! Both of them are athletes and had images taken at night in Downtown Chandler. 
Matthew, Hamilton High School
Briana, Hamilton High School

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

Senior Photos Michelle Robetson Save & Exit