Outdoor Pictures Near the Water | Gilbert Senior Portrait Photographer

It's great when clients have ideas about themes and locations they really love, because that helps me guide them in overall planning. When I know what you love, what inspires you, and what reflects YOUR personality, I can get us going in the right direction even faster...

Make a Splash with Water Pictures: Showcase What They Love

It’s summertime in the desert, and the heat is on! What better time to showcase your love of all things water?!

Meet Alyse, 2021 graduate from Gilbert Classical Academy in Gilbert, Arizona. A valued member of the GCA swim team, Alyse also works as a lifeguard, plays a bit of basketball, loves to paint and take pictures with her Polaroid, and of course, she’s always up for a hangout with friends. After working with her, I’m convinced there’s nothing this girl can’t do!

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With so much of her time spent around the water, it only made sense to begin our planning by incorporating water ideas into her photo shoot! So of course, we talked swimming and swim team, and we worked on ways to pull her team uniform into her pictures. She even went bold and decided for a shot of her team suit under her graduation gown. Talk about a fun and creative idea!

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When Alyse and her family reached out to me about her graduation photos, I was excited to plan locations, outfits, and ideas to really highlight her high school years. It was all the more fun because of the excitement she brought to the planning process. Described as determined and funny by those who know her, this girl absolutely blew me away with her creativity and willingness to kick back and share a laugh.

Ready, Set, Shoot

Alyse was ALL IN from day one, and her energy and ideas added a ton of valuable insight that helped me find the perfect venues and backgrounds to suit her personality.

It’s great when clients have ideas about themes and locations they really love, because that helps me guide them in overall planning. When I know what you love, what inspires you, and what reflects YOUR personality, I can get us going in the right direction even faster!

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Top Secret Uber-Confidential Water Photo Information

Yes, there is water in the desert, and we CAN find it for your senior pictures if you want a similar look. Before hitting water venues, you’ll want to keep a few things in mind:

  1. It gets slick out there—especially if you choose a natural location like a lake or river. I can fix a lot of things, but I can’t fix that. Water pics are beautiful but be prepared to tread cautiously and lightly to avoid a slip.
  2. Bring some old shoes or a cheap pair of flip-flops. Don’t plan on wearing your super-chic and trendy booties for your water pictures. They’ll get muddy and mucky before you can say “Cheese!” Guaranteed. (Also, I will never ask you to say “Cheese.”)
  3. Choose the right clothing for water. You’ll want something flowy that makes it look like you live among mermaids, BUT be careful to select outfits that aren’t too finicky about care—especially about getting wet. PRO TIP: Do not borrow your mom’s vintage silk scarf for this shot.
  4. Bring a beach towel (or two). If you decide a flirty splash or a toe dip would make the perfect photo, you’ll definitely want a towel so you can dry off and move on to the next shot.
  5. Go with the flow. If you end up making a bigger splash than you planned, just roll with it and have fun! Free-spirited Alyse took a bit more of a dip than she expected when she hit a slick spot—and let’s just say, she gracefully took a seat in a watery venue. What happened next? She made a splash, of course! And we captured unexpected, fantastic images. Sometimes, the unexpected turns into the awesome!

A Wardrobe That Wows

From team uniform to trendy casual to glam, Alyse had it together when she gathered her photo shoot wardrobe! The whole idea is to have fun with it and let the outfits you choose reflect YOU and your style. When you feel good about what you’re wearing, it will show in your movements and expressions—and that will carry over to your photos.

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Every now and then, the camera decides it simply doesn’t like a certain style or outfit. Maybe it’s because of lighting or background or any number of other factors. This happened with an adorable dress that looked GREAT on Alyse in person—but in front of the camera, the angles were lost, leaving her fun and flowy dress looking shapeless and limp.

Funny enough, after trying on an outfit she was on the fence about—a rust-colored ensemble that suited her perfectly—Alyse looked like a supermodel in front of the camera! (Note from your professional photog: I’ll NEVER let anything make you look unflattering! You will look glam & gorgeous… guaranteed.)

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Keepsakes Galore

As Alyse heads off to college in the fall, her mom will have a variety of photos to keep her company and remind her of her daughter’s high school days. With everything from keepsake photo boxes filled with double-sided images to a multi-image storyboard to a premier slideshow, Mom can keep Alyse close even when she’s off adulting and following her dreams.

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Alyse’s Advice

I asked her what she would say to incoming freshmen if given the chance. Alyse said she would tell them to focus on grades because those are important—but not to lose sight of making memories, because that’s what you’ll really look back on after graduation.

Unlimited Horizons

Alyse is headed to college, and while she’s undecided on her specific major (weren’t we all!), her dream job is to be a cardiac surgeon. Whatever she chooses, with her determination, smarts, and drive to succeed, this girl will rule in her field!

I love to watch my clients grow into their future selves, and I can’t wait to see what you’re going to do next, Alyse. Keep smiling and working hard…I know you’ll make a splash wherever you go!

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12 Comments
  • What a great description of shooting in water! Love all of these images! Well done!

  • I love the images of her in her swimsuit by the water! Your tips for senior photos by the water are great!

  • I love all of the variety in her images from this Gilbert senior portrait photographer. Beautiful images

  • I really loved her style for this shoot and how you did the shoot with her team swimsuit! The one with her glasses halfway down I love! And that last outfit on the stairs!

    • I cannot believe we almost skipped that last outfit because she didn’t like the way it looked! And it ended up being a favorite!!

  • Jeanine Offer Krupp

    Wow! What great ideas! I love the idea of senior portraits with water. Great senior portraits that shows what makes your seniors’ hearts sing. Alyse’s senior portraits are fabulous!

    • Thanks so much Jeanine!! We don’t have a lot of locations to do pictures by the water here in AZ, so it’s always fun when I come across these spots!

  • I loved seeing senior photos that are really about that senior! It is clear that you listen to your clients and shoot their pictures to reflect their personality. Loved the water themed photos. What a fun read!

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