Senior Photos: It’s So Much More Than Just Good Pictures | Mesa, AZ Photographer

As a senior photographer for over 13 years, I was shocked when I heard girls say how pretty they felt. So I'm over here scratching my head, wondering why they have such low self-esteem. I decided that this was just one reason senior photos are so important.

Senior Photos: It’s So Much More Than Just Good Pictures

From the day these little ones were born, they’ve tested us. It’s been a constant learning curve filled with every emotion imaginable. Well, hold on to your hats and glasses, but with graduation coming you’re in for a whole new roller coaster of emotions! Did you catch my Disneyland reference there? I had to do it! Anyway, you’ve spent years trying to prepare your kids for the world after high school and I know you’ve always researched what you think is best for them. You tested every toy, visited all the top schools, and managed to find a car that would meet your critical safety standards. You’ve helped with projects, packed lunches, and managed to get them to practice all these years. And now, that little piece of your life is changing. Forever. I understand that it can be overwhelming, I’ve recently been through it myself, even having my youngest move out-of-state for college. I want to tell you parents a secret about the best part of senior year–the memories. Most East Valley high schools require you to use their contracted photographer for the yearbook photo, but senior photos are so much more than they used to be!

A boost in self-confidence? Who knew?

As a senior portrait photographer for over 13 years, I was shocked when I heard girls say how pretty they felt. And then be embarrassed for feeling like that!  Um, so I’m over here scratching my head. It was that moment that I really decided that this just one reason senior photos are so important!  I can capture teenagers through my eyes, what I see. The beauty, the joy, the talent, the personality and so much more. All the things you already know are there, but they just don’t believe you. Why do our kids choose to believe what social media says about them, but not their parents? I’m baffled. However, by showing them what I see, it can make a huge difference in how they see themselves. It is so awesome to hear a girl say “wow, I really am pretty!” Have the guys give you that look, and just cannot contain the smile no matter how much they try to hide it. Because they’re proud, they’re excited, and they really truly didn’t believe they could look this good! It works for both guys and girls, and it is a game changer for a lot of kids. Of course they’re still gonna have those moments, but my hope is that inside they know. Deep down, they remember these pictures. They see them around your home. They see the joy on your face when you proudly display these photos. It’s my goal as a photographer to make every single one of my teenagers feel this way. I promise, all of my teens are just regular, normal, kids…until I work my magic!

I had such a good experience with her!! I never liked having photos taken of me before and always felt uncomfortable behind the camera, but not with Michelle. The whole time she had me smiling and relaxed.

Liliana Fenicle, Desert Ridge High School, Class of 2022
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More Than Just Yearbook Photos

You know the ones. The awkward smile, the uncomfortable pose. Many schools still send the seniors to a contracted photographer where they will take a few nice pictures, but it’s just that. A few nice pictures. Some schools don’t even do that anymore. It’s the same whether you’re a freshman or a senior. Line up, click, click, you’re done. Then you have this embarrassing photo to display…for the rest of your life. I cringe just thinking about it. But these days, senior photos are filled with fun and creativity! My goal is that your senior session will have your teen laughing, spinning, running, and tossing their hair all resulting in gorgeous, authentic reactions!  Your son or daughter will no long cringe at the thought of having their photos displayed in your home! How do I know? Nearly every single one of my seniors has a keepsake for themselves! Storyboards and metals including their favorite quotes are a huge hit! This is one I designed for Amber, one of my Class of 2022 graduates.

Michelle helped me get out of my box and let me be myself.

Amber Brown, Florence High School, Class of 2022,

More than just good pictures

You think adulting is hard? Try being a teenager! We’ve all been there, we KNOW how hard it was for us and I believe it’s even harder now. These kids are subjected to the perfection of social media all day, every day. And of course they believe all this perfection is a normal, everyday occurrence for other teens. So I love giving my teens that picture perfect experience, and for just one day, the world revolves around them! And YOU get to be a part of it! Moms love hanging out with us during the photo shoot! It gives you both a break from the never-ending to-do list that seems to multiply daily during senior year! You know how I mentioned how my heart just explodes when these teens get that boost of self-esteem? Imagine being able to watch it happen. And it does! Don’t be surprised when you’re son suddenly is really into senior photos or your daughter starts pulling out her hidden modeling skills! They come out of their shell really quick when they’re the center of attention! Now, imagine having these stunning photos displayed in your home for you to see every day…multiple images to show off, not just two or three. While they’re away growing up, creating new adventures in college or building a career, you’ll still have their smiling face to comfort you. Remember when we were kids, how much fun it was to flip through the family photo album? Yep, we can do that too. Just imaging having a beautiful, high quality album filled with all your teen’s stunning images for you to look through together, to gush over, and when the time comes, share with their children. Now stop imagining, and know that I can make it a reality. 

Leave them to the pros

Did you find yourself nodding your head as you read through this post? Are you thinking to yourself, dang, this is definitely something I need to do for my kid? If so, make sure that you choose a professional. Remember at the beginning where we talked about educating yourself and giving your child the best? It applies here as well. As with most things, you get what you pay for and professionals can provide all of the above and more. You might find someone who is pretty good at taking pictures and can do one or two of the things above, but when it all comes together, it creates an experience that both mom & senior cherish for years to come. It should be a special event designed by a photographer who specializes in senior portrait sessions, not an afterthought left to someone who knows how to press a button. I guide my seniors throughout the process so they know exactly what to expect, what to wear, and how to pose. You should have a variety of images that create a complete story of your teenager at this age, not just a few mediocre pictures.

My son hates his picture taken, he absolutely did not want a photo session. Michelle did the most amazing job, she made him feel comfortable & got THE BEST photos of my son. I will cherish these for the rest of my life.

She made it so easy & comfortable for him I can’t thank her enough. I LOVE how they turned out! Thank you!!

Sherly Johnson, Andrew’s Mom, Desert Ridge High School, Class of 2022
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Did you find this post helpful? Learn more about the senior portrait experience with Magical Memories by Michelle.

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Lauren's session was all about combining her fabulous style with amazing downtown Gilbert locations! When you choose locations that match your vibe and your personality, the result is a collection of senior pictures you'll love.

Get creative to truly show off your personality in your senior pictures! After confessing her love of sweets, a candy shop was definitely on the list of stops for Madie!

I love photographing dancers and capturing those elegant moves during your senior portrait session is one of my favorite things! All of your extracurricular activities are an important part of who you become as a young adult. When you share them, we can work together to create images that showcase your amazing dance skills!

Welcome! I’m your bestie behind the camera! Lots of great info, so hang out for awhile!

Michelle

Chandler Senior Portrait Photographer