Why I Love Shooting Senior Portraits

It's true.  I absolutely LOVE shooting seniors.  Oh sure, I enjoy shooting weddings, I love shooting families, and some of the most fun sessions I've had were engagement shoots!  Who doesn't love to have a front row seat to capture intense and immense passion and love?

But for me, nothing compares to senior portraits.

As photographers, we have learned that it's important to "declare" our niche, our specialty.  For some, newborn and baby photography is natural.  Others live for the weekend grind of shooting weddings.  All of us do family sessions; some even specialize in them!

When I became a photographer, I was eager to shoot with anyone who would stand in front of my camera.  I just needed to learn, and what was more, I was hungry to learn!  I found a network of photographers, models/aspiring models, makeup artists, stylists, retouchers, etc, that I could be a part of.  I was able to begin learning my craft as a photographer by shooting young ladies and men who were learning their way into becoming models.  

And none of us knew what we were doing!

This is Ashley, the first person I ever photographed.  This is from my first ever photo shoot, where I wielded an entry level camera and ZERO knowledge of actual photography!  (Ashley and I remain dear friends even after all these years.)

This is Ashley, the first person I ever photographed.  This is from my first ever photo shoot, where I wielded an entry level camera and ZERO knowledge of actual photography!  (Ashley and I remain dear friends even after all these years.)

But we were learning.  Back in those early days, I figured out how to use my camera to capture the look and style I envisioned for each particular shoot and each portion of the session.  I also incorporated the use of artificial lighting mixed in with the natural light that was available, and eventually found my own voice.

What I didn't realize I was learning, though, was that these aspiring models were teaching me about fashion, about trends, and even more importantly, teaching me that I loved shooting this style!  Fashion magazines were the inspiration for locations, poses, and stylistic choices.  I dreamed of shooting for Vogue, Elle, Cosmo, or Glamour.  I began analyzing lighting schemes used in fashion photography and incorporated those schemes into my own work.

Then I learned that it would be wise to choose a specialty.  What would I choose?

Back in the mid to late 90s, I was a youth pastor.  In the early 2000's, I was a recruiter for a college admissions office, working with high school students from Virginia to Hawaii on how they could apply and be accepted to the college for which I worked.  Later, I was in charge of a crew of teens that would go door to door selling newspapers for college scholarships.  Working with teens has been a constant thread in my life.

Now I am integrating the fashion/editorial style I learned from my early "self-training" days with the seniors I absolutely love to work with.  We are creating amazing and highly dramatic images by putting a "couture" flavor into these photos.  See for yourself:

I love shooting senior portraits.  It's not a job to me.  It truly is an expression of who I am.  Every photographer will promise you a great experience at their photo session.  I'm no different.  But what I can further promise goes beyond all of the fun that we will have.  What I can offer you beyond just a day you'll never forget is a day you never thought you would have.  A day of being pampered like a celebrity leading up to the shoot.  A shoot that is centered around capturing who you truly are and incorporating all of the passions that you have in your life.  I will deliver to you photographs that capture not only your face and style, but the heart and soul and the essence of who you are.

 

I hope I get to shoot your senior portraits.