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Spotlight on Theater | Setting the Scene for Senior Pictures in Phoenix

Ready to follow along with an amazingly talented senior from Arizona School for the Arts? We spent several hours creating memories in Downtown Phoenix, at Herberger Theatre, Gammage, and so much more!

Showstopping Ideas for Performing Arts Portraits

I’ve said it before—and you’ll hear me say it again: Your interests and passions are a super important part of your senior pictures! And when you see Prescott’s phenomenal session that centers around his love of musical theater, you’ll know exactly why it’s so critical to pull in all those defining moments of your high school days.

My mom and I were so happy to find Michelle after months of looking for someone to take my senior portraits!!

If you want someone who understands your teenager AND takes indescribably beautiful portraits of them, you want Michelle!

Prescott Smidt

His Name in Lights

For the daytime portion of Prescott’s graduation photo shoot, we had a little fun with an existing billboard outside the Herberger Theater Center in Phoenix, Arizona. I love getting special location requests from clients because that helps me incorporate meaningful places into your photo shoots, and this one was at the top of Prescott’s list! Using the magic of photography, I was able to replace several images with actual playbills from shows Prescott was in, creating a fun visual memory of all his show-stopping performances.

Downtown Phoenix Senior Pictures Theater Playbills

His casual lean makes this shot look effortless and natural, and the outfit he chose couldn’t have been more perfect! The reds and blacks blend nicely to create a pleasing image that will stand out anywhere it’s displayed.

No Business Like Show Business

The look on Prescott’s face says it all. Dressed to the nines and with musical theater on the mind, he exudes happiness in this portrait.

When he initially contacted me about his session preferences, Prescott mentioned doing a paper toss with loose sheet music, and I was excited to give it a try! I’m all for capturing those creative, one-of-a-kind shots, so whenever clients have ideas like this one, I immediately start planning and figuring out how to make them work.

Downtown Phoenix Senior Pictures Theater Music

It was super-fun to be able to capture Prescott in the moment with a grin on his face and his hands in the air as loose-leaf sheet music fluttered to the ground around him. It’s clear he was in his element, and his relaxed demeanor and genuine expression shows it!

All the World’s a Stage

This photo collage was created from photos we shot outside the Herberger Theater Center, and it shows off Prescott’s passion for the performing arts, as well as his outgoing personality and his flair for fashion!

Phoenix Senior Pictures Herberger Theater

It’s easy to mistakenly think there’s not that much for guys to do to prepare for their graduation photos, but that couldn’t be further from the truth. Whether I’m working with a senior guy or a senior girl, it’s plain to see when someone has gone to great lengths to make sure they look great for their pics!

Prescott chose an amazing outfit—with a couple of different jackets that work interchangeably—highlighting daring patterns and bright colors. The fun part about this stylish, layered ensemble is that he gets multiple looks without having to change outfits. From buttoned, more formal jacket…to open jacket…to more casual jacket-in-hand, the options are as endless as his energy!

If you’re looking for ways to make your outfits do double duty, consider layering and keep your eyes open for patterns and textures you love.

A Flair for the Dramatic

There are so many things to love about this photo that’s it’s hard to know where to start! First, I can’t get over Prescott’s sense of style and his bold choice of red and black patterned jacket over a patterned shirt. They work perfectly together and accentuate his bright eyes and polished hair for a look that’s ready to hit center stage in a leading role. Intense eye contact with the camera adds to the drama of the moment, and with just a hint of fading lights behind him, it’s clear that Prescott commands a leading role wherever he goes.

Phoenix Senior Pictures Acting Headshot

Star of the Show

Prescott’s striking appearance made nighttime photos a must. Whether he was smiling or putting on his best serious face, he stole the show the entire time.

Remember, accessories are important for guys, too. Check out the image below and the black patterned bow tie Prescott selected to accompany his suit. Everything is perfectly balanced! Prescott has a dapper and exciting style all his own, and after the sun fell, we had a blast capturing all the little details.

Phoenix Senior Pictures Formal Suit Guys

A Casual Lean & A Jacket Toss

Prescott was a natural in front of the camera! Of course, a lot of that could be because he’s used to commanding entire audiences as he performs—but I was glad, because the more comfortable he was, the more the camera LOVED him!

Phoenix Senior Pictures Theater Gammage

It’s often difficult, especially for guys, to figure out what to do during a session…specifically what to do with their hands. I always have several helpful suggestions to help you feel natural and in your element. Some of my favorites are leaning, holding a jacket, and placing a hand in a pocket. All these things help clients avoid that awkward “what do I do with my hands” moment before every photo!

Phoenix Senior Pictures Theater Performer

A Hard Act to Follow

Full of drive, energy, and zeal for the performing arts, Prescott is certainly a one-of-a-kind client! After years of musical theater training, he’s looking forward to graduating from Arizona School for the Arts in 2022, and from there, he’ll be pursuing a B.A. or B.F.A. in Musical Theater, as well as Public Policy.

A member of the English National Honor Society and the Thespian Honor Society, Prescott is driven to succeed in everything he puts his mind to. He’s most proud of helping to foster a safe and accepting children’s theater community throughout his time working with them during high school.

His favorite quote is by the character Christopher Robin—the first character he ever played on stage. Prescott often goes back to this quote to help him maintain his confidence:

“You are braver than you believe, and stronger than you seem, and smarter than you think.”

Prescott’s bucket list is pretty full; he’s set a goal of traveling to every U.S. state and territory, going to Paris, and skydiving. Keep your eyes open, because he’s looking forward to one day working on Broadway as an actor, too!

phoenix senior portraits guys boys

“High school is difficult, and graduating can be scary, but so long as you dream big, surround yourself with supportive friends and family, and believe in yourself; you can accomplish anything that you set your mind to.”

Prescott Smidt

Life Since Graduation

Since graduating from high school, Prescott has been studying musical theatre at Arizona State University while also auditioning for regional theatre productions! He just finished his first college musical, Little Women, and is look forward to broadening his horizons within performance and arts leadership.

Get out there and steal the show, Prescott!

Find a Phoenix Senior Portrait Photographer

Ready to make your senior year unforgettable? Let’s create a one-of-a-kind senior portrait experience together! Hire Arizona’s top senior portrait photographer so you can treasure this special chapter forever. A great first step is to check out this FREE download of the Senior Client Welcome Guide to learn more about the process, pricing, and heirloom artwork.

Remember to follow me on Pinterest, Instagram, and Facebook for all the latest updates and over 100 creative photo ideas. Be sure to check the blog weekly for free resources and tons of inspiration for your senior pictures!

  • Prescott and his family with cherish these senior pictures for years to come. They are show-stopping. All the personal details in his senior portraits make me feel like I know him. Stunning session!

  • A hard act to follow is right! Theater senior pictures for this senior guy were spot on. And those jackets and shirt colors and patterns! NAILED IT!!

    • Right?!?! Senior guys that are looking for ideas about great clothing for senior pictures need to follow Prescott’s lead!

  • Prescott’s senior photos are stellar! Love the creative ideas and the classy sophistication of his senior photo collection. The music toss and your use of light the best!