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How To Build Your Teen’s Confidence with A Fun Photo Shoot

Kids change a LOT from the time they're 13 or 14 years old until they graduate a few years later, and I've got a SECRET for you! You don't have to wait until senior year to capture memorable images of them. Schedule a teen photo shoot to boost their confidence & create memories with them now!

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

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

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

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

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

Changing Throughout the Years

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

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

Don’t Blink

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

Is a Teen Portrait Session Worth It?

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

Boost of Confidence

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

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

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

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

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

What’s in a Teen Photo Shoot?

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

Meet Marissa

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

What to Wear for a Teen Photo Shoot

The guidelines are the same for nearly any photo shoot. You’ll want to choose outfits you feel good in and be sure the clothes you choose fit you properly. Plan to bring at least 4 changes of clothes so we have a good variety to mix and match.

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

Best Phoenix Photographer Teen Photos

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

Phoenix Arizona Photography Teen Photos

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

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

Phoenix Professional Photographer Teen Photo Shoot

A Special Note from Mom

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

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

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

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

Phoenix Arizona Photography Teen Photo Shoot

Remind Them They’re Beautiful

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

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

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

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

Best Phoenix Photographer Teen Photo Shoot

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

Phoenix Arizona Photographer Amazing Teen Photo Shoot

Want to see more ideas for teen photo shoots with Magical Memories by Michelle? You might enjoy these posts:
Alex and Mavery: Best Friends
Always Building Confidence in Teens

  • These are great ideas for photo shoots for teens! Any parent in the Phoenix area that is looking to give their teen daughter a little boost in confidence should definitely think about a fun photo shoot!

    • As a photographer, I’m not sure I would have believed how much it would boost a young girl’s confidence if I hadn’t seen it myself. My own daughter was shocked to see how beautiful here photos were at age 14 (without retouching) and I’ve heard similar stories from many parents of teens and seniors! It’s one of my favorite things to hear!

  • I love the idea of a photo shoot for teenagers! And what a treasure for parents to look back on these years and see their child captured at a truly magical time.

    • Hi Susan! As my kids have grown, I’m so thankful for photos at every age, but it seems these teen years get missed! Parents are definitely thrilled to have these beautiful photos instead of just phone pictures.