Add Adventure & Accomplishments to Your Graduation Photos
There’ve been a few clients over the years who I’ve had to convince about the cool factor of the whole senior picture photo shoot situation. Colin is one of them. An awesome grad with so much going for him, it’s no wonder his mom clamored for an amazing set of graduation photos to show off his accomplishments. We just had to convince Colin there was value in the whole process…and in what he’d be able to give to friends and family to celebrate all his hard work.
Colin didn’t exactly arrive at my office kicking and screaming, but he did admit he was going through the entire senior portrait process for his mom. (What a sweet guy, am I right?!)
To get the best, most amazing senior pictures ever, however, I wanted to convince Colin it was something he wanted to do, too!
It took about 7 minutes. And if I can humble-brag for just a second, that’s kind of a record! This 2021 grad was on board with a professional photo shoot as soon as we started talking about the flexibility, creativity, and possibilities that would go into his images…all of which included HIS valuable input.
Restauranteur & Dapper Drink Mixer
If you’ve ever been to Fat Willy’s, you know it’s just about the coolest family sports bar and grill in town. Even cooler? It’s owned by Colin’s family, so of course some Risky Business-style pics were in order, complete with a dapper vest and tie and drink shaker in hand. (Disclaimer: To achieve this level of trendsetting genius, you must be at least 18 years old. I’ve grown accustomed to the comforts of home, and the authorities don’t take kindly to minors behind the bar!)
Check out the relaxed pose and smile Colin has going on! He’s right at home, and his classy vest, shirt, and tie combo fit in perfectly with the upscale stonework in the background. An added bonus? His smile and dimples add lighthearted charm to his sharp look.
Shaken, Not Stirred
Ok, not even shaken! This guy was such a natural throughout his photo shoot that you’d never guess he was hesitant to even shoot graduation pictures. We added an image of his graduation cap, tassel, and gown to officially commemorate the moment.
Getting Shadow & Light Just Right
Many of my clients gravitate toward outdoor photos since we’re in a place where the sun shines just about every day of the year! But don’t forget about the artistic and fun opportunities that exist for your senior pictures at indoor locations around the East Valley. Especially if you own—or know someone who owns—a unique, artistic, or simply amazing picture spot!
Not only did Colin’s photos give him the chance to celebrate the family biz along with his accomplishment, choosing indoor images allowed me to pull in some super creative lighting elements. I love the way Colin stands out in these pictures! With his light eyes, reddish hair, and choice of light-colored shirt, I had the chance to really pull him forward and let the background fade.
Moments That Matter (And Why I Do This Job)
Every now and then, you’ll see a senior picture where the grad is holding a photo of a grandparent or parent—sort of a fun and creative throwback photo. The image below is similar, except when I finished shooting it, there wasn’t a dry eye in the room…including mine! (Talk about a challenge. How’s a photographer supposed to focus when she’s sobbing?)
There are so many reasons to love this photo, but the most touching one—and the one that made this moment so meaningful—is the fact that Colin’s dad, pictured in the framed photo he’s holding, passed away just over two years ago. I wanted to capture the proud moment when a son looked down at his dad, both of them dressed in their graduation caps and gowns, and shared a common memory and accomplishment.
Talk about a “mini-me” moment! Colin and his dad look exactly alike, and if the photo shoot was emotional, I can’t even begin to explain the happy and poignant emotions when they arrived for the Image Premiere and they got to see this image for the very first time.
Daredevil Moves & A Devilish Grin
After drying our tears, we moved on…to another day and a different portion of Colin’s senior pictures! It was time for fun in the sun, and Canyon Lake was on the agenda.
Don’t try to guess how many graduation caps we went through during these photos. The wakeboarding portion is what I lovingly refer to as the “water adventure” segment of the shoot, and it involved a whole lot of Colin looking really, really cool on a wakeboard and his crazy photographer trying not to fall in the water as I balanced myself and all my equipment while trying to capture stuntman-worthy moves!
As a senior, if you’re gonna send the “OUTTA HERE” message, there aren’t a whole lot of ways that are cooler than this!
Colin is a 2021 graduate of Desert Ridge High School, and he’s looking forward to a future full of possibilities! He’d love to become a voice actor, and he’s planning to work in a trade like construction or welding to save money and build his skillset.
A self-confessed nerd, Colin loves bands like Dropkick Murphy and Five Finger Death Punch. He’s a gamer and he likes to watch Pacific Rim, Godzilla, and Supernatural. He’s got big dreams on his bucket list, so keep an eye out, because in the future he’d like to try skydiving, backpacking through Europe, and visiting Tokyo.
Asked for advice for incoming high school freshmen, he simply wishes everyone good luck. But on the down-low he says to watch out for the lunch lady and avoid making eye contact. According to Colin, she’s not one to be messed with!
What an amazing young man and family! Clients like this make my job so rewarding, and I cannot wait to see how he crushes his goals!
Oh, Michelle. These senior photos of Colin are awesome. You captured some amazing memories for him and his family.
Thanks so much Jodi! Colin was just sooooo much fun, I could have 100 just like him!!
So many great images for this senior guy! I absolutely love the image of him and his dad in their cap and gowns. You were able to create something so special for this young man that he will treasure forever!
Right?!?! I love it and want to cry at the same time!
Wow! You have great ideas for guys senior photos! Love all of these great senior portraits!
Hi Jeanine! Thanks so much for taking the time to comment! I love working with guys for their senior portraits, especially proving to them that it will be fun and they’ll love the experience as much as the girls do!
Senior photos for guys can get more awkward as it’s true that sometimes moms want the professional pictures more than the senior himself. What treasure you created for both of them with your flexibility and creativity Michelle!
Hey Andrea! Thanks for commenting! I always find it extra rewarding when I can turn what they thought was going to be a dreaded session into something fun and enjoyable! And I do that a lot with senior guys…and even senior girls! Many high school seniors just get so nervous, so I do everything I can to prep them before the session and make sure they’re comfortable.