Highlight Your Favorites: Seasons & Styles That Shine
I don’t need to tell you that one of the amazing things about living in Arizona is the weather. It’s true for retirees, vacationers, and it’s true for photographers, too! This is one of those locations that offers nearly limitless possibilities simply by letting us use its blank natural canvas. From mountains to desert to forest to waterfront, you can find it ALL in the East Valley, which makes it the perfect spot for graduation pictures!
When Alexa told me her favorite season is fall—and that she’d missed the window for autumn pics in her hometown in North Dakota—I knew exactly what to do. There’s such a wide array of options here in the desert, and as luck would have it, Alexa was here during the perfect time for Arizona to show off its very own fall splendor.
While January had other parts of the country covered in ice and snow and shivering with freezing temperatures, Arizonans were enjoying a few weeks of brisk fall weather. Yep, in January, we found all the natural photo props we needed for the perfect autumn senior session…like crisp leaves, warm colors, and perfect boot-wearing weather!
A Day in the Park
There’s always an element of hustle and bustle during a photo shoot, but Alexa’s laidback style and love of reading were the perfect combo for this tranquil waterside scene in Chandler. Even when I’m working hard to capture a million gorgeous photos, there’s ALWAYS enough time to slow down and capture your style.
I love the look of joy and contentment on Alexa’s face in this photo collage. Surrounded by nature and enjoying a good book, she’s clearly doing something she loves. These pics are not only priceless now, but when she and her family look back on these photos years from now, they’re sure to bring back nostalgic memories of her high school years.
Sunshine & Light
The time of day was on our side for these images, and that was very intentional. The sun is dropping beautifully behind the trees, letting pretty light beams peek through and reflect off the water. These little “extras” add so much to professional photos, which is exactly why I pay so much attention to all the details!
Sometimes I make small suggestions or corrections to a pose, but believe me, all of that stuff makes a HUGE difference! If I move you two inches to the right, it could be because I’m trying to avoid a major glare and still use the natural beauty of the day. In the end, it all comes together so you end up with a portrait package as amazing as Alexa’s.
Bright Colors, Natural Beauty
Autumn in the Valley is a gorgeous thing, but when I talk about natural beauty, I mean Alexa! Her dazzling smile is always at the ready, and whether she’s strolling, leaning, or peeking from beneath the brim of a floppy hat (yay, hats!), she’s a vision.
Just about any direction we turned, we saw gorgeous colors—and the red flowers in full bloom turned out to be the perfect way to add a punch of boldness to complement Alexa’s neutral sweater, jeans, and suede booties.
A Favorite Book & a Favorite Brew
A future 2022 grad of Davies High School, Alexa loves to read, write, draw, and speak French. Her favorite books are Harry Potter, To Kill a Mockingbird, and As I Lay Dying; and her fave hangouts are coffee shops and Barnes & Noble. So it was a given that this young lady would have book and coffee props in her photos. After all, I always want your pictures tell the story of who YOU are!
Described by her friends as smart, funny, and empathetic, this fabulous young lady has the entire world in front of her. She’s currently in three AP classes, and she says the one thing she might have a little too much of is HOMEWORK! But that’s ok, because all those smarts she’s acquiring will help in her future career as a psychiatrist.
Can’t Do Fall Without a Flannel
And we couldn’t do senior pics without a shot of Alexa in a comfy tee representing her future college. Of course, for a fall photo shoot, a stylish flannel or your favorite plaid is the perfect layering piece to add to your ensemble.
Whether she’s dressy or casual, this girl couldn’t take a bad photo if she tried. She’s adorable in this layered look with fading evening lights behind her. This photo shows off Alexa’s attention to detail with her makeup, too. A clean, fresh face with a pretty pop of meticulously applied red lipstick is an absolutely beautiful look for her. I love her fashionable glasses, too, and the way they highlight those perfectly shaped brows.
New Looks for Nighttime
Alexa mentioned she wanted to take things toward the edgier side for her evening photos, and when it was time for a wardrobe change, she pulled out a gorgeous little black dress with a flattering mesh bodice and sleeves. Ankle-strap heels add a punch of fashion flair to the outfit, and a few quick twirls caught that pretty dress in action.
She also brought along some nighttime casual looks, and when she topped everything with a black leather jacket, I got to see a bold side of her shine through! And yes, that leather is available in the Style Closet!
Capture it with Contrast
Alexa’s dress was stunning, and I wanted a way to show it off in detail. When we found this white wall, it was the perfect opportunity to create an artistic image that truly stands out. A modern take on black and white, this was a super fun way to show off the great lines of her dress and her stylish shoes!
Day-to-night photo shoots have quickly become my most popular option for senior portraits. Why? Not only do you get a longer session with more outfit changes, you get more opportunities to show off different facets of your personality. If you’re feeling casual and laidback during the daytime and still want sassy, edgy nighttime photos, a longer session is the one to choose!
A member of the North Dakota Honor Society and the French Club at her school, Alexa has big plans for the future. In addition to college, she wants to travel to France someday and go on an exotic trip with her best friend. Her best advice for incoming freshmen is to remember to plan for the future, but remember the present; take classes that are fun AND prepare you for your future.
Her favorite quote is a good one for all of us to remember:
“You never really understand a person until you consider things from his point of view…until you climb into his skin and walk around in it.”
– Atticus Finch (To Kill a Mockingbird)
It was such a pleasure to work with you, Alexa! I wish you all the best and I can’t wait to see where the future takes you!