Seniorologie » The Study of Senior Portrait Photography

  • Welcome to Seniorologie! Learning, taking notes and studying are all things we have in common with high school seniors. As photographers, we are as much students as any senior! Seniorologie is an inspirational blog dedicated to the study of senior portrait photography. We will post unique sessions, behind the scenes, marketing, business tips and more! And if you are a senior, we have posts for you too! Whether you are looking for a photographer in your area, fashion tips to help you get ready for your session or inspiration for your upcoming shoot, we have it! So sit back, take notes, learn and be inspired!

Senior Rep Inspiration – {Studio FBJ}

Sometimes one concept just isn’t enough!  So why not think of two awesome concepts and split your Senior Model Shoot into two?

That’s just what Joy Pfister of Studio FBJ in Ashland, Virginia did for her 2015 Model Team!

Check out this awesome shoot below!  One part Skater and the other part Powderpuff but all parts fun!  Thanks for sharing this with Seniorologie Joy!!

Website:  www.studiofbj.com

Blog:  www.studiofbj.blogspot.com

Facebook:  www.facebook.com/Studio-FBJ

What was your inspiration for this photo shoot?
I wanted the ladies to have a fun and easy theme that they could relate to and build on.

Where did this photo shoot take place?
A two weekend photo shoot took place on the Historic Richmond Canal Walk. The Second half took place at the RF & P Football Field at Crump Park in Glen Allen Virginia

Did you collaborate with this senior to come up with the clothing and/or concept for this shoot?
In December we put out a model team call and used Mach forms to collect information from potential High School Juniors. We had a deadline for submissions, and wrapped up our model team choices by December 18th. January 12th the team of ladies met at our studio to learn about the themes we had chosen and learn about our model team program and how it works. The ladies had a few months to gather clothing for the shoot. We then, chose from what they brought into the studio during photo shoot weekend.
Over two weekends in March the photo shoots took place. Team Skater Girls met first for hair and makeup at our studio and then carpooled downtown. Team Powderpuff actually met in two sections over the course of a week and a half due to multiple reschedules due to rain outs. The ladies were troopers and finally we found a few beautiful days!

What camera, lens or other equipment was used for this shoot?
Canon 5D Mark III, love my 85mm and 50mm for more group stuff.

What time of day were these taken?
middle and end

Can you share any post-processing techniques used when editing this session?
I try to keep my photos pretty simple. I shoot in raw and adjust a bit in light room if needed. I have about 2-3 actions total I use on my photos to keep them mostly fresh feeling. Love Michelle Kane Actions.

What is your favorite thing about this session?
I love how much the model team enjoyed the sessions. It seemed to fit personalities so well. I love that we had two separate themes and a chance to get a variety of great photos!

What do you want this session to convey about this senior and about your senior photography style?
I wanted to convey FUN! I always want my model team to have the best time and experience everything the studio has to offer so they can better share with their peers that are thinking of booking the studio.

What is one tip you can share with other photographers regarding photographing seniors?
IN regards to model team, a lot of pre-planning and prepping will make for a great outcome. We start planning model team casting in November! We picked themes that were easy to relate to and of course showcasing everything that you can offer while they are in your presence is key. We pamper them, but we also do charge a fee to be on model team. I think once you get your team going that is KEY to adding value to being on team!

To see a video of this fun shoot, click on the link below!

http://youtu.be/gJwjGTdAnpA

Topic Tuesday – {Unposed Posing}

Today’s Topic Tuesday comes from our guest blogger Claire Anderson of Clara Bella Photography.  Claire shares with us how to get the perfect unposed pose!  Check it out below!!

Hello again! Thanks so much for the feedback on last month’s post about Backlight. This month’s topic is all about… posing, but unposed – but posed! Sorry in advance to the fellas, I happen to only shoot girls (I did at one point shoot boys but the more I revamped my branding, the more girly-er it got, and the less guy inquiries I received!) I am also talking about the posing that looks natural which I like to refer to as “unposed posing”. I absolutely LOVE the supermodel-ish poses just as much as the next photographer, but I also know what mom likes, so to keep senior, mom (and photographer!) happy I like to do a mixture of posing styles – all in the same session!

Posed vs. “Unposed Posed”

Now I won’t say every mom doesn’t like the supermodel poses, but in order to make sure I cover all of my bases I always take all of my different “go-to” poses so I can make everyone happy.. as possible:)
Now I start my process of “unposed posing” at the first contact. I know this may sound like a totally different topic but I promise it will all come together! Probably the most important way I feel like I achieve the unposed posing is by making my senior feel more like a friend rather than a client. Naturally, the more comfortable they feel with you the more relaxed they will be. Now you can go about this in any way. For me personally, I don’t have time to meet with them prior to our session for a pre-consultation so I make sure I communicate their way – via text & emoji of course! We text about outfit ideas and I text them the day of to let them know how excited I am for their session, how nice it is outside etc. I also include hair & makeup in all of my sessions so I meet them at the salon before we actually go to the location for their shoot. This also gives us time to meet, make small talk with mom and give them a sense of relaxation before I stick my massive lens in their face.:P
Now we get to the actual posing part! To achieve the unposed poses I start by showing them first where I want them to sit /stand, then I actually do the pose myself so they can SEE what I mean. Then I TALK to her- about her! I send a fun questionnaire to my girls right after they book, and ask who their celeb crush is, fave music, dessert etc. and I break the ice by asking them about something they mentioned and almost immediately they will laugh or smile *CLICK*! Then after the laugh (which I always love that pic) they go into a more natural smile and wala – a beautiful unposed pose, since I told them how I wanted them to be!
Another rue of thumb I try to abide by is the law of 3… close up (headshot), 3/4 and full length.. no smile, smile, laugh.. this way I know I have the variety mom wants, senior wants.. and I want! and gives me options when I’m culling the images.
And last but not least.. probably my most favorite way to achieve the perfect unposed pose is with.. MOVEMENT! When I first ask them to spin around like a school girl they always laugh and probably think “I’m not 3 WHY is she asking me to do this!” but it never fails.. they always love it! It looks super cute (make sure your shutter speed is set to 1/250 or higher) makes them laugh and captures JOY! Win, win win!
The truth is, no matter how nervous or uncomfortable you may feel about posing them, chances are they feel 10x more nervous and are looking to you to relax them and make them feel at ease. It took me awhile to kick my nerves, but once I finally did my shoots started flowing much better, and the photos turned out better than ever! The best feedback I receive from my girls is when they talk about their experience with me  - anyone with a strong skill set and nice camera can take a good photo, but what’s really going to set you apart as a senior photographer is the experience YOU give them. So relax, have fun with them.. and laugh a lot!
Screen Shot from my behind-the-scenes video:))
Happy Shooting!
Claire

Senior Concept Inspiration – {Sarah Elle Photography}

Favorite children’s fairy tales make great inspiration for concept shoots!  The shoot below was inspired by Alice in Wonderland and the Mad Hatter’s Tea Party.

Sarah Rhodes of Sarah Elle Photography in Hamton, Virginia created a colorful wonderland perfect a a beautiful high school senior.

Check out this session below and read what Sarah had to say about it!  Thanks for sharing your work with Seniorologie Sarah!

Website:  www.sarahelle.com

Blog:  www.sarahellephotography.blogspot.com

Facebook:  www.facebook.com/sarahellephotography

What was your inspiration for this photo shoot?
I wanted to bring a fresh, new and fun option for Senior portraits to my area and when brainstorming ideas I realized that the infamous Mad Hatter Tea Party scene from Alice in Wonderland would be the perfect fit: Alice is kind, curious, and not afraid to speak her mind — plus all of the bright colors and fun details would be a great set to play with!

Where did this photo shoot take place?
Local park near my home known as Sandy Bottom Nature Park.

Did you collaborate with this senior to come up with the clothing and/or concept for this shoot?
While the Senior did not specifically pick out the direction we went for the wardrobe she did give the final say in which option she preferred and was also a great help with posing herself the day of the shoot (thanks to her dance background!).

What camera, lens or other equipment was used for this shoot?
Nikon D610
Nikon 50mm 1.4G
Sigma 70-200mm 2.8

What time of day were these taken?
6:00 pm

What is your favorite thing about this session?
I’m in love with the golden light and the bright colors. All of the details made it really fun to shoot. PLUS the Senior was an absolute blast to work with and I love knowing she had just as much fun as I did that day:)

What do you want this session to convey about this senior and about your senior photography style?
Through this session I want people to see my model as sophisticated yet fun. She really helped to evoke the sense of innocence and curiosity that Alice possesses but at the same time she, like Alice, isn’t afraid to politely speak up when needed (like with her posing suggestions).
With this session I want my local community to see a fun, outgoing style and hopefully be inspired to take their own Senior portraits a bit outside of the box.

What is one tip you can share with other photographers regarding photographing seniors?
Have fun!! Seniors want to feel unique and beautiful and want to enjoy themselves during their session. And trust me, they are more nervous than you are- so if you just let loose and be yourself you’ll have a much better chance of bringing that out in your Senior, too!

Seniorologie Spotlight – {Share Your Image Saturday}

Happy Saturday everyone!!  Each week, we love seeing your images on our Facebook page!  Keep up the great work and keep posting your favorite Senior Image from a recent senior photo session on our wall (sized to 740 px wide) with your business name.  We pick the top three from the week and highlight those three in a post on Saturdays.  The winner for the week becomes our Seniorologie Spotlight Image of the Week and is showcased as Seniorologie’s Facebook Timeline Cover for the week.

Check out this week’s top three images and be sure to check our Facebook page Sunday to see which of these three is our Seniorologie Spotlight of the Week!

This week’s top three are Pink Owl Photography, Stacey Dershem Photography and Vision of Rose Photography.

Senior Rep Inspiration – {Silver Lights Studio}

I often get asked, “is there a specific time you should do a rep shoot?”  While a lot of photographers wait until spring or summer, this photographer proves that getting the shoot done earlier gives your reps photos early so they can start promoting your photography studio!

Rosy Hernandez of Silver Lights Studio in Detroit, Michigan said, “Winters are harsh for us and nobody is thinking about senior photos.  So we made lemonade out of the bushels of lemons we’ve been getting!”

Check out this photo shoot below and be inspired on how you can create a fun shoot when you most likely wouldn’t think about doing a shoot!

Website:  www.silverlightsphoto.com

Blog:  www.silverlightsblog.com

Facebook:  www.facebook.com/SilverLightsPhoto

What was your inspiration for this photo shoot?
Winter was the inspiration for this photo shoot. Our goal was to show people that winter can be fun also.

Where did this photo shoot take place?
The photos where taken outside of the Henry Form Museum, in Dearborn Michigan.

Did you collaborate with this senior to come up with the clothing and/or concept for this shoot?
I sent them ideas I pinned from pintrest, and asked them to play with their wardrobe. We emailed back and forth to come up with the looks they each had. I added some peaces also, hat, faux fur vest, belt.

What camera, lens or other equipment was used for this shoot?
Cannon 5D Mark III and Cannon 85mm 1.4

What time of day were these taken?
2pm

Can you share any post-processing techniques used when editing this session?
We use Lightroom and Totally Rad actions

What is your favorite thing about this session?
My Favorite thing is the dynamic between them, they actually didn’t know each other before the shoot. From what I hear they became friends.

What do you want this session to convey about this senior and about your senior photography style?
Our freestyle of shooting, I love movement, & natural smiles. To me catching a real, wholesome smile beats a pose any day.

What is one tip you can share with other photographers regarding photographing seniors?
Hear them out, let them be THEM. Make sure the session is about them, not the location, style, or sport they are currently in.