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 Inspiration – {As Ever Photography}

Dance is such a beautiful art and it allows those that take it to move gracefully.  When it comes to photographing a dancer, as a photographer you know you will get to create images with lots of movement.

In this urban dance shoot that took place in Utah, Jennifer Corbett of As Ever Photography captures this senior and her love of dance in a cool urban location as well as a beautiful nature location.

Check out what Jennifer had to say about this session below.  Thank you for sharing your work with Seniorologie Jennifer!





What was your inspiration for this photo shoot?
My inspiration was Ashtyn’s love of the moody, urban aesthetic. We also wanted to capture her love of dance so we decided to photograph her in her point shoes on a downtown rooftop.

Where did this photo shoot take place?
Downtown Salt Lake City, Utah and Utah Lake.

Did you collaborate with this senior to come up with the clothing and/or concept for this shoot?
Yes, we collaborated on the general concept. Her aesthetic is more urban than what I typically shoot, so it was really fun to come up with new shooting locations! The clothing choices for the downtown photos were her own. For the second part of the session, we worked together to come up with a softer look to add variety to her images.

What camera, lens or other equipment was used for this shoot?
I shoot with a Canon 5D MKIII. Lenses used included the Canon 50mm 1.2, the Canon 85mm 1.2, the Canon 35mm 1.4, and the Sigma 50mm 1.4 Art.

What time of day were these taken?

Can you share any post-processing techniques used when editing this session?
I processed this session using heavily a modified VSCO film preset.

What is your favorite thing about this session?
I love Ashtyn’s intensity! I also love her gorgeous blue eyes and freckles. She was so much fun to photograph. I enjoyed exploring new locations to achieve her desired look.

What do you want this session to convey about this senior and about your senior photography style?
I hope this session conveys my desire to customize my senior sessions to each client; to work with each individual to make their portrait session a fun experience that reflects who they are at this incredible time in their life.

What is one tip you can share with other photographers regarding photographing seniors?
Have fun and don’t over-pose! Seniors today spend a lot of time looking at images and taking selfies and generally know the way they like to be photographed. I’m there to guide them and add variety to their movements/poses, but I find that I often get my best shots when I let them “freestyle” for a bit!:)


Topic Tuesday – {I Attended a Workshop, Now What?}

Today we have a special guest post by Catie of Catie Ronquillo Photography in Dallas!  Catie shares a little about her workshop experience to better help those thinking about attending a workshop.  Check it out below!  Thanks for sharing Catie!!



Instagram:  @catieronquillo



I Attended a Workshop… Now What?

It’s exciting when you sign up for a workshop or conference. You start to countdown the days until you get to attend, meet the speakers or presenters that you admire, and make new friends with the other attendees. Finally, the big day comes. You pack up your car or hop on a plane to the workshop destination. The workshop or conference is everything you expected, and more! (hopefully!) Before you know it, the event is over, your brain is swirling with new ideas and concepts, and you have to return home.

I attended Conference 12 hosted by Seniorologie in October. It was a wonderful experience. Leslie and Courtney made sure that the attendees had a great time by keeping it small (60 attendees), having a diverse group of speakers teaching on all different topics, and organizing an awesome range of styled shoots. We also got to check out products from the sponsors of the conference and there was an image competition. Not to mention some great swag. The location was also pretty perfect. It was within walking distance to a bunch of great restaurants (and a Starbucks!) and the weather was ideal.

I took loads of notes from the different speaker presentations. It was also great to see and learn from the teachers about how they shoot, how they edit, and how they run different facets of their business. Probably the most valuable aspect of the entire conference was getting to chat candidly with both the speakers and the other attendees. People who are in the same trenches as you, working on building sustainable businesses, and totally understand you, perhaps beyond what a loving (non-photographer) spouse or significant other might be able to empathize with.

So what do you do after the confetti has settled and you’re back at home after having an amazing time?

Here are my top tips for what to do after a workshop or conference:

1.  Review your notes within 2 weeks of coming home
Okay, so this may seem obvious, but who else goes straight back into work mode after returning home? It’s easy for those notes to get lost in the shuffle of editing, emails, and appointments. Also, while it’s fresh in your mind, review the notes you took and write down the other bits and pieces you remember from your memory. This will help the information you learned stick even better.

2.  Edit those photos and share your favorites
This has happened to me so many times. I’ve attended events or shootouts or workshops and because the images are for me, and not a client, they usually get put on the back-burner until I have time to edit them. But, if you can find yourself an extra 30 minutes to an hour, pull your favorite images, edit them, and share them. People want to see what you’ve been up to during your time away. Maybe you tried a new technique or found a different way of doing something. Don’t let those photos “collect dust”!

3.  Write out your goals
Okay, so you went to the workshop or conference for a reason, right? Maybe it was to learn how to structure a certain part of your business, improve your marketing efforts, or just work on shooting skills. Whatever the case may be, you went to the educational event for a reason. Well, you went, and now is the time to write out your goals based on what you learned. Perhaps it’s photographing a certain number of seniors or implementing a partnership marketing relationship.  Maybe it’s scouting for new locations or starting a new senior model program. Create some goals for your business. Now is the perfect time as we begin to close out the year!

4.  Make an action plan
Goals without action are simply words on paper, am I right? So make an action plan. For every goal that you’ve written out for the year, make a list of steps that need to happen in order to accomplish your goal. For example, if your goal is to start a new senior model program, your action plan might look like this:
1.  Determine structure of senior model program
2.  Determine incentives or costs for program
3.  Determine selection process
4.  Ask current client base to nominate senior model prospects
5.  Organize information meeting
By breaking your goal down into actionable steps, you’ll feel less overwhelmed and more motivated to get things done. You’ll move your business forward!

5.  Execute
Last, but not least, in order for all of this to work, you need to execute your action plan. Set dates next to your action steps to help keep you on track of your progress. You’ll review and refine your steps and maybe change something up through trial and error. But you’ll never know if something is going to work unless you give it a try! So take your plan and follow through.

For me, I walked away from Conference 12 with a lot of great ideas and a lot to think about. I’m working on restructuring my senior model program, as well as revising communication workflow with clients. I’m also working on welcome packets for the next class of seniors – Class of 2017. Now, to get it all done… I’m ready for you, 2016!


Seniorologie Spotlight – {November 21, 2015}


Each week we choose three images that have been shared by all of you on our Facebook page. To enter this weekly contest, simply post a recent photo from a senior shoot that you have photographed sized to 740 px wide and include your photography business name and you will be considered for that week’s top three. The Top Three chosen each week will be posted right here on the blog on Saturdays and the winner will be displayed as our Facebook timeline cover for the week.

This week’s top three are Clara Bella Photography, Kristie Bradley Photography and Maria Vallejo Photography!

Congratulations to these three! Keep sharing those amazing images each week on our Facebook page!!




Senior Style – {Sweater Weather}

Sweater weather is among us and they are the perfect thing to wear for a fall or winter senior session!

Hot trends in sweaters this season include cropped, graphic, oversized cardigans, plaid and sparkly!  Any one of these trends work perfectly for senior photos!

Check out this inspiration board below and be sure to pin it and share it with your seniors to show them how they can incorporate sweaters into their session wardrobes!






Senior Inspiration – {Maria Vallejo Photography}

Promo videos are a great way to let potential clients see you in action and get to know you before they book you.

In this session below, Maria Vallejo of Maria Vallejo Photography in Florida says that she wanted to incorporate her daughter’s style into her promo video.

“I was dying to do a bohemian shoot and my daughter Daniela is very bohemian,” said Maria.  “I wanted to do something that was completely her style.”

Check out this beautiful shoot below and read what else Maria had to say about it.  Thanks for sharing your work with Seniorologie Maria!





What was your inspiration for this photo shoot?
My daughter Daniela! she is very bohemian and I wanted to do something that it was completely her style.

Where did this photo shoot take place?
In an open field here in Gainesville.

Did you collaborate with this senior to come up with the clothing and/or concept for this shoot?
I did everything! I coordinate clothes, colors, head pieces. They were so excited and so open to try anything that I was suggesting to them. One thing that I tried very hard to accomplished was that even though it was a bohemian shoot, I wanted to dress the girls maintaining their own style. And I did it!

What camera, lens or other equipment was used for this shoot?
Canon Mark III and I used my 85 F1.2 lens

What time of day were these taken?

Can you share any post-processing techniques used when editing this session?
I don’t use presets or actions… I do it all in PS

What is your favorite thing about this session?
I really love EVERYTHING!!!

What do you want this session to convey about this senior and about your senior photography style?
I like editorial style a lot and I think you can see it on this photoshoot

What is one tip you can share with other photographers regarding photographing seniors?
Have fun with them!!! they are younger, but they still can teach you many wonderful things.