Best Senior Photographer Mesa Arizona
Maricopa High School | Arizona Senior Pictures | Basketball Player

Maricopa High School | Arizona Senior Pictures | Basketball Player

Maricopa High School Senior Pictures

I know you have a lot of choices when it comes to choosing a senior photographer, so when I have families willing to drive 45 minutes or more, that really is saying something. Like many young men, LeeAnthony probably wasn’t excited about senior pictures, until I asked what he loves to do. Basketball!!! Oh we can definitely incorporate that! He also loved areas near the water and wanted to bring his dog. Since my sessions aren’t based on locations or time, we were able to fit all that in and more!

Maricopa Senior Photographer  Maricopa Az Senior Pictures Guys

Siblings

Maricopa AZ Photographer

It likely has been years since you’ve had family portraits, so feel free to bring your brother or sister to your portrait session for just a few quick shots! Although I’m sure Teareya wasn’t planning on hanging out the whole time, she ended up staying with us but she was a great assistant and helped LeeAnthony with some fashion choices!

Bring Your Dog

I hate saying this, but many of our seniors have beloved dogs that they’ve had for many years. We all know our furbabies don’t live nearly as long as we’d like, so please, I’m begging you. PLEASE bring your dog to your senior portrait session! These portraits might be the only ones you’ll have of the two of you together and they will be greatly cherished by your family. And on a lighter note, hello cuteness!!! Seriously, he even smiled for us!

Maricopa Senior Pictures Dogs

Maricopa AZ Senior Pictures Pets

Including Your Car for Senior Pictures

Oh yes, a clean red Lexus brought out lots of smiles for LeeAnthony! We didn’t really have a spot planned but after over a decade of scouting the East Valley I can always find something! I wish I had a behind-the-scenes shot of this area. Nothing more than a dirt road, probably near an entrance to a community, but it worked great for what we needed!

Maricopa Senior Pictures Car

Maricopa High School Basketball Player

Guys, again, might not be too thrilled about senior pictures but if you include the things they love it will for sure get some amazing images! Even these portraits with the black backgrounds were taken outdoors before sunset. When you hire a professional photographer for senior pictures, the creativity is endless!

Maricopa Senior Pictures Sports

Maricopa High School Senior Pictures Basketball

Creative Senior Portraits

Again, being a professional senior portrait photographer, I have ideas! Lots and lots of ideas that I really want to try! This was inspired by an image that popped up in my Instagram feed. I saved it (yes, I have collections of ideas, poses, and outfits for inspiration) and had this vision in my head waiting for the right senior. I love everything about this! Believe it or not, this picture was taken before the first set of basketball images…it was definitely still light out. With the proper knowledge and equipment, I was able to create dramatic lighting and I love the end result. So do LeeAnthony’s parents. We printed a large 16×20 for their wall that showcases their children’s sports careers!

Maricopa Senior Pictures Basketball

In The Weight Room at Desert Ridge High School | Mesa Senior Photographer

In The Weight Room at Desert Ridge High School | Mesa Senior Photographer

Senior Pictures at Desert Ridge High School

This high school athlete from Desert Ridge High School is such an incredibly motivated teenager and was so excited for his senior pictures! He played high school football all 4 years, but his passion is in the weight room. When I first met Colton I was blown away by all the ideas he had! First of all, he wanted athletic senior portraits that showed him doing what he loves.  Well, it turns out he’s also been nominated for Inspiring Teens Magazine and is in the running for the cover of issue 33!

A Special Note From Mom

Colton has always been driven to succeed. It didn’t matter if it was school, football, volunteering, friendship, his job, or family. He has always put everything he had into being all he can be. He has many achievements in my eyes but when you can be an influence on others is what really sets the achievement apart from other successes. The one thing in particular that comes to mind was not only a personal achievement but it helped others by inspiring them as well. Colton was a tall skinny kid starting off freshman football. They said he was too little to play Defensive End but he was going to do whatever it took to play this position. His freshman year he played and was the starter about half way through the year. After the season ended he went on a mission to get bigger, stronger, better, gain weight and muscle. He gained 40 pounds by the next season and has never looked back. He started every game from that point on. He now weighs 215 and is going to play at a prestigious academic college at the collegiate level. While on his journey he guided, tutored, and mentored the other players along the way. He was not only their team captain but their leader that inspired them to be all the can be. He became the highest academic level player that the school has had and looked at by the coaches as the most committed and inspirational player. Life is not only about achievements but inspiring others a long your journey. 

Weight Room Senior Pictures Desert Ridge High School

Desert Ridge Weight Room

When creating a session around a senior’s passions, we find ourselves in all sorts of places and this time was no different. Our first stop of the day was the weight room which was so exciting because I had no idea what to expect in that location. Colton did not disappoint! He was willing to try anything and everything and was an amazing sport with all of my ideas. As usual, some worked better than others but it was here that we were able to create some of his favorite images. This is Colton. His mom suggested he take his shirt off to be more authentic to what would be his normal experience in the weight room, and we were mindful to pay tribute to his hard work and dedication and not diminish the perseverance and energy he brings to that room daily. These images were meant to convey his love for weightlifting and football, and we accomplished that and so much more. I found Colton’s humble attitude so refreshing. He’s extremely proud of his sport as are all of my high school seniors. Celebrating accomplishments, interests, and personalities are what senior pictures are all about, and trust me when I say that Colton has worked so hard for his success!

Weight Room Senior Pictures Mesa Az

Athlete Senior Pictures Mesa Arizona

Athlete Senior Pictures Mesa Az

Go Jags!

I love that we were able to capture a portion of the wall for this image. Colton was great at helping me place weights and telling me if something didn’t look right. I love collaborating with my seniors to get exactly what they want. I’m not an expert at every sport and hobby, so having the extra guidance allowed me to be creative and produce images I knew Colton would love! Then at the field house we got some great keepsake images that will remind him of all the hard practices, long hours, and amazing games spent here!

Weight Room Senior Photographer Mesa Az

Deesrt Ridge High School Senior Photographer

Outdoor Senior Pictures Mesa Az

On The Field

Capturing movement and different angles is something I do at every session to be sure we have a good variety in your gallery. Keep in mind…this is only the first hour or so of Colton’s session! From school we drove into Chandler for two more locations!

Football Players Senior Pictures Phoenix Az

Football Senior Pictures Mesa Az

Portraits at Your High School

  • Get permission. It can be a liability to be on campus without the coach’s knowledge.
  • Check the schedule for games, meets,  and practices so you won’t interfere.
  • Clean up the area and leave things where you found them.
Vote for Inspiring Teens Cover Contest | Phoenix Senior Photographer

Vote for Inspiring Teens Cover Contest | Phoenix Senior Photographer

Nationally Featured and Published Phoenix Senior Photographer

When you schedule your senior pictures with Magical Memories by Michelle, did you know that YOU might be featured nationally or even internationally? It’s true! We’ve had many images featured on social media and our seniors have been published in Senior Year Magazine, Modern Teen Style**, Senior Muse, and now…Inspiring Teens! In fact, right now we have TWO of our clients in the running for the cover of Issue 33!

**I know the Modern Teen Style site isn’t up and running right now. Not sure why, but I’m guessing Vickie is working on something new.

Inspiring Teens Magazine

Just by being nominated, both Trevor and Colton will be published in issue 33! But they’re also eligible for more prizes, so help them out! By voting for our two featured guys, you can help them get in the lineup for IT Girl or Guy of the day on Inspiring Teens Social Media, earn a larger spread with more images, be interviewed for the Inspiring Teens Blog, become eligible for the International Leadership Team, and even win up to a $1000 scholarship!!

Desert Ridge High School Class of 2020: Colton Weier

I couldn’t have been more excited when Colton expressed interest in doing part of his senior pictures in the weight room! It was a new location for me and the images…wow! He’ll be playing football at Wesleyan University in the fall!

VOTE for Colton

Weight Room Senior Pictures Desert Ridge High School

Mesquite High School Class of 2019: Trevor Schwartz

Sun flare? Some love it, some don’t, but this image of Trevor is the reason he was featured! I’ll never forget all the extra shots I took to get this just right. He’s currently attending the University of Arizona to study engineering. Go to our blog to peek behind the scenes of Trevor’s senior pictures!

VOTE for Trevor

Athlete Sports Senior Pictures Basketball AZ

I’m happy to announce that both Trevor and Colton received enough votes to make it to Round 2! With the final votes tallied, they are both being published in Issue 33 of Inspiring Teens Magazine!

What to Wear for Senior Pictures | Formal Outfit Ideas for Guys | Mesa, AZ

What to Wear for Senior Pictures | Formal Outfit Ideas for Guys | Mesa, AZ

What to Wear for Senior Pictures: Outfit Ideas for Guys

Suiting Up for the First Time: Finding the Perfect Suit for Your Son

As a senior portrait photographer, I used to tell teenagers to just choose comfortable clothing. However, after a few years I started having guys choose suits, blazers, and ties as one of their outfit choices and they looked amazing! Knowing this, I truly wanted to have this look for my son’s senior pictures, but I had no idea where to start! So this subject is near and dear to my heart, as I recently took my own son, Trevor, for his first “real” suit.  After a short discussion with him, he and I both wanted something that would last for years and would also reflect his personality both now and into the future.  Trevor is young enough to want a stylish appearance that is not old-fashioned, yet old enough to know that he wants a suit to be classic enough and quality enough to withstand years of wear.  The first step was to choose a great retailer that specializes in men’s suits as he is now a older teenager and of course, needs a manly look. We wanted someone that could give us some ideas and help us to choose the best style for a teenage boy. 

Desert Ridge High School Senior Pictures Guys Outfits

So, off we went on the “perfect suit hunt.”  We headed to Jos.A.Bank because they specialize in men’s clothing and I thought it would be a good first step in deciding what we wanted for Trevor’s senior pictures. First of all, go during the week if you can. It is far less busy which gave us the undivided attention of several experts who were able to tell us what the current trends are for guys clothing. For his fitting, the perfect measurements had to be carefully taken. But that was the easy part. Without them, that would have easily been my first mistake. Their first selection was a slim fit jacket that fit pretty well. A slim fit? Really? I never would have guessed that, but he slipped it on and instantly had a grin across his face realizing just how good he looked! It was priceless! He actually liked it! I thought this was going to be such a difficult shopping experience, but with the associates help they were able to tell just by looking at Trevor what his best style and color would be. 

Senior Pictures Guys What to Wear AZ

Of course there are a lot of different styles available now, although the classic style is still a good choice.  A good associate will know all the styles and what is popular with teen guys. Grey and black are always a great bet, but there is also a wide selection of blues. There are “extreme” colors and styles, but we avoided those, since we had decided in advance to make this a lasting purchase.  Grey is considered a good neutral choice, but black is considered now and always has been considered a “power” choice. Either gray, black or a blue seemed to be the most classic choices. For a younger man, black might be too severe yet, depending on personality. Grey or charcoal on the other hand shows confidence and can be worn by any age.   But for Trevor, this navy jacket from the Traveler Collection was the perfect style and color for Trevor.  His face absolutely beamed satisfaction and both of us were thrilled in the end. The jacket he chose looked like it was made just for him and he looked like such an adult that this mama was close to tears herself!  What started out as a stressful experience, turned into some special time together that we’ll both remember forever. 

What to Wear Guys Senior Pictures Mesa AZ

Choosing the jacket was just the beginning. Next came selecting a shirt and tie, and the choices will make your head spin! Once again, the professionals at Jos.A.Bank were able to piece together many choices including color combinations that we wouldn’t have considered. They are able to fit each tie directly in the shirt so you can truly see what it will look like without trying it on. We ended up with several shirts and ties so Trevor would have a good variety, however, this gorgeous blue shirt and purple tie were exactly what I wanted for his senior pictures!

So, if you are suit shopping for a young man yourself remember things: quality, classic style, color, and the personality of the young man themselves.  Don’t forget to bring your patience and an open mind, then let the pros do their thing! This should be a lasting purchase so a knowledgeable salesperson will make it much easier.  A good suit will make your son look amazing and feel confident in front of the camera!

Take it from this proud mama. The experience was a great one and will live in my memory forever!  Suit up happily everyone!  

High School Senior Pictures Guys What to Wear

High School Senior Portrait Photography | Peek Behind the Scenes

High School Senior Portrait Photography | Peek Behind the Scenes

Your High School Senior Photo Shoot: A Not-So-Top-Secret Look Behind the Scenes

Everyone wants to know—but not everyone wants to ask—“What in the world actually happens at a photo shoot?” I’m about to give you the inside scoop so you’ll be ready to tackle your day with enthusiasm and kick the nerves to the curb. Hint: It’s probably a mix of some of the things you were thinking and a surprising amount of things you hadn’t even dreamed up. Trust me, your day in front of the camera lens is going to be all you imagined…and then some.

Choosing a Location

Don’t worry; you don’t have to choose just one! I like to wander, so I hope you do, too. We’ll move around a lot during your photo shoot so I can capture you with as many different backgrounds and environments as possible. If we’re in a downtown area, we’ll easily walk several blocks to find the best locations for you.

Sometimes we go to popular areas like the Riparian Preserve or Nichols Park. Downtown Gilbert or a small local park are great because they are often less crowded and we’re able to get more creative shots and use the great backgrounds and colors that nature provides. Most high school seniors like a combination of both the natural elements AND a bit of the urban environment. When you’re with me, we cover a lot of ground—and that means we get a wide variety of shots.

C’mon, let’s take a look behind the scenes of what will make up your amazingly fun photo shoot!

Behind The Scenes

We typically arrive at our first location between 3:00-4:00 in the afternoon, depending on the weather, the sun, and the locations you’ve chosen. We’ll go through your outfits to determine which outfit will give the best vibes, which ones are “must-haves,” and you’ll use our portable changing room to change into your first outfit. My team and I will set up the equipment and take some test shots, and then we’ll be ready to capture some amazing shots of you in action! 

In this shoot, I am working with my clients, Trevor, a 17-year-old basketball athlete from Mesquite High School, and his mother, Gina. During our session, Gina snapped a few pictures of Trevor’s session and I thought it would be fun to show some behind the scenes pictures compared to the final senior portraits.

This red wall really isn’t anything special, but when paired with Trevor’s flannel shirt, the headshot is great! Couple that with some prompts to get that genuine smile, and it’s a win for both of us!

High School Senior Pictures Gilbert Photographer

High School Senior Pictures Guys Outfits

It’s All About Lighting

Well, if you’re gonna do basketball pictures, we need a basketball court. Gina told me about a great park near their home with a nice basketball court. While this was a great opportunity to highlight Trevor’s love of basketball, I needed to assess the location and lighting—and we had to be careful because often, neighborhood parks can be crowded, making it tough to get the shots we’re after.

Gina was able to snap a few casual pics for me so that I could determine the layout of the park, including potential lighting issues, landscaping, and other details. The park was at street level with a lot of trees, so I instantly knew I could shoot great photos without houses distracting the scene. Score!

It’s not uncommon to find me climbing a ladder or laying on the ground to get the exact shot I want. Sometimes we just get creative and see what the results are! These shots really show what it’s like behind the scenes!

High School Senior Pictures Basketball

High School Senior Pictures Sports

As the sun went down and we were done with action shots, it was time to pull out the lights. Since Gina is a huge Dallas Cowboys fan, she also chose to paint a ball silver and the results were even better than we’d hoped! 

High School Senior Pictures Gilbert Athlete

High School Senior Pictures Sports Letterman Jacket

After Dark

We were having such a great time we kept shooting after dark. After a quick uniform change, we captured even more unique basketball shots. The sun sets quickly, and with the off camera lighting we can choose how much of the background to include in each photo offering plenty of variety.

High School Senior Pictures Basketball Player

Trendy Night Shots

If you want nighttime portraits—a popular photo trend for the Class of 2020—then we continue shooting into the evening. Downtown Gilbert is a favorite nighttime location, even if it’s just the edge of a parking lot or parking garage!

High School Senior Pictures Gilbert Photographer After Dark  High School Senior Pictures Guys Suit

High School Senior Pictures Downtown Gilbert

Highlighting Your Hobbies and Interests

Many high school seniors choose to include their sports because it might be the final games of their career. Trevor added basketball in several ways. We chose to start with Trevor’s Mesquite high school uniform (shown above) and a standard basketball. You want your senior in a suit and tie? No problem! It’s an incredible look and trust me, the guys love it when we combine this snazzy look with their favorite sport.

High School Senior Pictures Gilbert Photographer Night

High School Senior Pictures Gilbert Photographer Sports

You don’t play sports?

This is actually a very common concern with my high school seniors! “But I don’t play sports, I’m not active in clubs, I’m just a regular teenager!” Well, one solution is to include your favorite pro sports team, as Trevor did. Now, his was even more awesome because he has a personalized Phoenix Suns jersey! However, any of your favorite sports teams would work.

Or how about the college you’re attending? It just so happens that Trevor got an academic scholarship to the University of Arizona in Tucson!!!!!

High School Senior Pictures College Shirt

Finishing the Photo Session

Most daytime photo shoots take 2 – 3 hours. I like to end the day by making sure we have at least 35 great shots. A checklist includes basic poses, close-up shots, and even some candid fun and funny shots of you being your quirky self. Whatever makes your personality shine through, that’s what I’m looking for—and that’s what I’ll capture in senior portraits. 

Your memories of high school should be cherished. I will work with you to create a modern, authentic plan. When you trust me to capture your look, personality, and style in high-quality professional images, you’ll be proud to share your high school portraits with friends and family!

5 Secrets About Your Senior Pics | Phoenix, Arizona Photographer

5 Secrets About Your Senior Pics | Phoenix, Arizona Photographer

5 Secrets About Your Senior Pics

Shhhh…I’m Gonna Tell You a Secret (or Five)

Every trade has its tricks, its magic ways—and photography is no different. If I were a magician, I would be banned from the business for divulging the magic behind my tricks, but lucky for you, I’m merely a wizard…a wizard who wields a camera like it’s a magic wand. My point is, there are secrets, and before your big day gets here, I want you to be in the know. Why? So you’ll have the most perfect pictures ever, of course!

You’ve already heard a lot of talk about your big day, the spotlight, the hair, the outfits, and all the glam that goes along with senior pictures. It’s a lot of pressure—for you AND for me. After all, we’re tasked with wrapping up an entire academic career into one amazing photo shoot that will showcase exactly who you are. No problem, right? Exactly. No problem.

The insider information I’m about to expose is meant solely to make your day even more awesome and (hopefully) put your mind at ease about all the fun that’s about to happen.

Secret #1: It really IS all about you.

That means you don’t have to be someone you don’t want to be. Don’t like dresses? Cool. Don’t wear dresses. Not a fan of high heels? (I mean, who is? They’re pointy and pinchy.) Wear your kicks. Or go barefoot. Or wear those funky toe-shoe things. The point is, no one wants you to be uncomfortable. Just be yourself, and you’re guaranteed to have a great time and end up with some awesome pics. We’ll help you style every single outfit to match the location for magazine-worthy senior pics!

Senior Pics Arizona Photographer Water

Senior Pics Arizona Photographer Outside

Secret #2: Fashion isn’t complicated.

You know that one outfit? The one that makes you feel like you have a little bit of sass, a little bit of edge, and a whole lot of “Look. At. Me.” Yep, that’s the outfit. That’s the one that defines your style and your personality. That, my dear, is fashion. Sure, it could be fancy. Or it could be casual. Or it could be a mixture of sequins and denim—with a little bit of leather thrown in the mix. However you define fashion and style, whatever floats your boat and makes YOU shine, that’s fashion. Besides, with our exclusive Style Closet, you’ll have even more options for outfits and accessories!

Senior Pics Ideas Arizona Photographer

If you’re ever in doubt, just reflect on the words of Coco Chanel,

“Fashion is in the sky, in the street, fashion has to do with ideas, the way we live, what is happening.”

When in doubt, keep it simple and wear what makes you feel good.

Senior Pics Phoenix Arizona Photographer

Secret #3: Weather doesn’t always cooperate.

Fashion, we can control. Weather, we cannot. Things we try to avoid include monsoons, haboobs, temperatures exceeding 100 degrees, flash flooding, and pretty much any natural disaster. They don’t tend to be conducive to helping us produce the best photographs, plus, it can be a bit difficult to get the dust and bits of debris out of your hair if we get caught in a dust storm.

The good news is that YOU don’t have to worry about mundane things like watching the Weather Channel—because that’s what I do! I’ll be on top of every weather forecast leading up to your photo shoot, and if we need to move things around, we’ll do exactly that. I literally have an app that tracks wind for me, and that is my #1 photography session killer! Never fear, we’re flexible! Being low volume allows you to be more than just a number and our schedule is designed to allow for last-minute changes if Mother Nature has other plans for your photo shoot! Find out what we do if you have bad weather for your senior pics.

Senior Pics Arizona Photographer Outfits

Secret #4: Zits are OK, but fix your fingernails.

Let’s get serious for a minute. No one plans for the last-minute zit, and sometimes they’re so big they merit being given a name. My last BIG ONE was named Martha, and she didn’t go away for a week. Martha was a monster, and she staked a claim right in the middle of my nose (not cool). So, if you get a surprise “Martha” on the day of your photo shoot, don’t panic! We can work through it. Remember, I have my magical ways, and Martha will NOT make an appearance in your pictures.

However, let’s chat about your nails. These are fixable. Ahead of time. Picture talons, long talons swooping out of the sky, maybe attached to a dragon or a hawk or whatever bird of prey suits your fancy. It takes a little more work and creativity to edit these down so that they are not the single biggest focal point of your photographs. Yes, they are pretty and long and lovely. But let me give you a tidbit of advice (you can take it or leave it)…those long and lovely clickers are going to seriously stick out when you are running your fingers through your hair or putting your hands by your face in your pictures. It might be a good time to consider a file.

Senior Pics Arizona Photographer Nails

Secret #5: Beauty shines…inside and out.

There’s magic behind that lens, and together, we’ll land on exactly the look you’re going for. Wake up with a bulging zit? I can fix that! Have a few stray hairs? No problem! I want you to look fabulous, not photoshopped! Yep, that’s right, you can look as natural as YOU want, and I professionally retouch each image by hand. Nobody needs to know except you, me, and the camera lens.

Your photos can be fun, flirty, or serious. And we can add some nice effects to some already-awesome images, so let’s work together to come up with some fun options. The best part is that it’s up to you, and we can be as creative as you want to be!

Senior Pics Arizona Photographer Tips

Now you know what the professional photographers know!

Cat’s Out of the Bag! Now that you know several trade secrets, I hope you’re feeling ready to tackle your upcoming photo shoot with all the style and confidence that makes you the amazing person you are. The best part about my job is that everyone I work with is unique—which means that every single photo shoot is an opportunity to create a one-of-a-kind collection of memories!

 

 

error: Copyright Protected