What to Expect

For Your Senior Portrait Session

So how does this whole thing work?

How does everything we do end up turning into an amazing senior portrait package for you?

We’ll start with a chat to get to know each other. Let’s talk style, budget, locations…whatever is on your mind!

You’ll also receive our comprehensive Senior Client Guide, which has detailed information, including pricing. This part is a no-pressure conversation to determine what you’re looking for when you have your senior pictures taken.

The in-person consultation comes next. We’ll have a chance to talk face-to-face, and you’ll get to see my gallery walls and a variety of unique keepsake portrait items.  We’ll review your investment options, and I’ll also show you before and after images of some of my favorite sessions, so you can get a feel for my editing style.

When you decide I’m the photographer for you, we’ll look at a calendar and talk about dates for your pictures. We’ll discuss wardrobe selections, hair, and makeup—and you’ll even get a sneak peek into my Style Closet, which is jam-packed with the latest fashions to help you supplement your own outfits.

Still have questions? Ask away! When it’s all said and done, I want you to feel comfortable and excited about having your very own photo shoot to celebrate your high school memories.

Marissa’s Photo Shoot

Marissa is a recent client—who just so happens to have an amazingly vivacious and upbeat personality. The day of your photo shoot will be similar to hers in structure—but it will be uniquely tailored to your style. Here’s how it went:

We met at my office and quickly ventured to our first location. I pulled out the portable changing room (because who wants to change outfits in the back of a car?), and we got down to the business of capturing amazing shots of Marissa in her element. At our second location, the energy of the photo shoot was amped up even more with the arrival of the family’s two pit bulls. After all, we wanted everyone to join in on the fun! But do you think those adorable 10-month-old pups sat nicely and posed upon request? Nope, nope, and nope! They wanted to run…so we ran with it, too. And that’s when we got some of our best shots. (Don’t tell anyone else, but all those well-behaved dogs you see in portraits? None of them are as well-behaved as they look in the pictures! So don’t be afraid to bring your pup. We’ve totally got this.)

After visiting a few more locations and doing a few more wardrobe changes, we wrapped up a fun and fabulous 3.5-hour photo shoot. And the inside of my van looked like a Paris fashion show and a tornado collided to create one stunning set of pictures…which is exactly how it should be.

What if Something Goes Wrong?

“True adventure begins when everything goes wrong.” –Yvon Chouinard

Here’s the thing. We can’t always control what gets thrown at us, but we can know that no matter what, your portraits are going to be awesome! At Magical Memories by Michelle, we cruise right past any bumps that may be in the road. Let me tell you a story about Marissa’s photo shoot:

Marissa is a lovely girl, with lovely, LONG hair. She had some great creative ideas for her photos, which included her energetic (and completely adorable) pit bull puppies. (This, by the way, is an excellent idea!) As her big day approached, we prepared and organized. We were ready for anything…except the curve ball Mother Nature decided to throw at us. I can fix a lot of things, but I haven’t had much luck with changing the weather yet! The forecast for the day of photo shoot included winds of 15mph or higher, and the next several days didn’t look any better. High winds and beautifully styled long hair do not work well together, and it was also going to be a little tougher to wrangle the pups.

This left us with a bit of a dilemma. But not for long! We went right back to the calendar, and because I purposely keep my volume low, I was able to move the session out a couple of days. We avoided the wind, went out later in the week, and ended up with stunning senior pictures.

At Magical Memories by Michelle, We Roll with the Punches!

After Your Big Day

Can you keep a secret?

When you walk into most studios (especially commercial ones), you’ll only get a vague idea of the photographer’s work. Maybe you’ll see three or four sample images, but what else is there? It’s likely you’ll see a lot of duplicate poses, backgrounds, and expressions. At Magical Memories by Michelle, you’ll see personality, giggles, seriousness, and a little bit of crazy thrown in just to capture your unique style. We’ll never let you blend into the crowd—you were born to stand out!

Here’s the complete (but very fast) replay of my afternoon with Marissa:

Deluxe Ordering Session

When you arrive for your Deluxe Ordering Session, a slideshow like this is the first thing you’ll see! The sample video is shortened, just so you can get an idea of what one of my slideshows looks like. Your personalized version will be about 4 ½ minutes long, and it will include all your pictures and sometimes even video clips. All the planning and excitement have led to this moment, and I can’t wait for you to see your images for the first time! (And don’t worry, I have tissues on hand in case Mom gets a little misty-eyed.)

After the slideshow, we’ll go through all your images individually so you can choose your favorites. (You might have a little trouble narrowing them down!) We’ll talk about available portrait package investments and your budget, and we’ll find exactly the right mementos to help you capture your best high school memories. And if you add any custom products to your list—like graduation announcements or storyboards—we design them together. This way, you can see all the options, colors, and designs as we go…without all the back and forth of online proofing. This is the time to think about anything special you want for your room, gifts for family members, or other special creations you have in mind.

If it’s part of your senior portrait dreams, we’re going to make it happen!

Michelle is an amazing professional photographer. She is great to work with; my daughter had a blast doing her photo shoot. I had so much fun as well just watching them working together. Her final result will absolutely floor you. The way she captured my daughter’s beauty brought me to tears. I highly recommend her. She has a client for life.

Elizabeth Franco

Marissa’s Mom, Class of 2019

Michelle is a fun but professional photographer. I had so much fun in my photo shoot we laughed so much. She made me feel comfortable being in front of the camera. And my pictures were amazing. I would recommend to any one who is looking to take amazing pictures with an amazing photographer.

Marissa Hopkins

Desert Ridge High School, Class of 2019