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!

Seniorologie Spotlight – {January 31, 2015}

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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 Jane Engs Photography, Melissa Ann Olson Photography and Linda Gorshein Photography.

Congratulations to these three! Keep sharing those amazing images with Seniorologie!!

 

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Senior Style – {Taylor Swift Fashion}

Taylor Swift is such an inspiration for so many teens.  Not only is she incredibly talented and beautiful but she also is a celebrity that gives back to her fans and keeps her head on straight!

Because of her style, we decided she would be the perfect inspiration for the Seniorologie Shoot Out in Nashville this weekend!  We took some of her most famous looks from her videos or the red carpet and created an inspirational board to style our models.  We can’t wait to photograph all of these looks!

Be sure to follow @seniorologie, @brittneykluse and @courtneydelaura on Instagram as well as the hashtag #seniorologienashville to see what we are up to this weekend!

Secretly we are hoping she sees our Instagram posts and shows up to let us photograph her!  Hey, it’s happened before!:)

For seniors looking for inspiration for their photo sessions, be sure to take some inspiration from the board below and also Taylor Swift herself!  And if you are a photographer, pin this board to show your seniors how these looks will work for their photo shoots!

 

Taylor Swift

 

Senior Inspiration – {Magnolia Adams Photography}

Making sure your seniors are comfortable will always result in better photos!  All clients want to feel beautiful and our job as photographers is to make sure they do!

“I always want to make sure my senior is comfortable,” said Michelle Leach of Magnolia Adams Photography in Norman, Oklahoma.  “I want my sessions to be peaceful and full of belly laughs.”

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

Website:  www.magnoliaadams.com

Facebook:  www.facebook.com/magnoliaadamsphotography

Blog:  www.magnoliaadamsphotography.blogspot.com

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What was your inspiration for this photo shoot?
I always want to make sure my senior is comfortable. I want my sessions to be peaceful and full of belly laughs. I was trying to be cautious of the light and wanted to try and go at it through a more whimsical lens, but I could just tell Reagan was more of a girl that wanted to let loose. So we ventured out into the bright sun and I captured her twirling her skirt. Wild and free.

Where did this photo shoot take place?
We live in a town of about 100,000 people. It’s a university town. Quiet and quaint during summer/winter breaks, but alive with action in the fall and spring. We started down town for a more sophisticated look and when I saw she had a white dress we drove just to the outskirts of town where we could use a field.

Did you collaborate with this senior to come up with the clothing and/or concept for this shoot?
No. Sometimes I do and sometimes I don’t. I want to be as much help as my senior wants. But more importantly I want them to dress, do, use props how they want.

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What camera, lens or other equipment was used for this shoot?
Camera- Canon 5d mk III
Lens- 50 mm f/1.2

What time of day were these taken?
We started about an hour before sunset.

Can you share any post-processing techniques used when editing this session?
I like to keep my post processing simple. For one, it’s easier on my work load… I can give them more images if I’m not drastically touching them up. And second, I want to capture seniors in a natural way.

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What is your favorite thing about this session?
My favorite thing is that I had a plan that we scrapped. I kept thinking I’d get smooth skin tones and flat light by staying in the trees but once we ventured out I was just having too much fun playing with the sun. And I think it captured her perfectly.

What do you want this session to convey about this senior and about your senior photography style?
Sometimes plans have a purpose. But most importantly you need to learn to be flexible. I wish as a 30 something working with 18 year olds I could convey that to them. Life is so fun, take big decisions carefully and never forget to be flexible. What your may see as your greatest flaw or failure may someday turn in to your greatest achievement. Life has a way of surprising us like that.

What is one tip you can share with other photographers regarding photographing seniors?
Ask them all about themselves. It’s a real easy way to get them to open up and feel at ease with you.

Senior Inspiration – {KC Photography}

Reaching out to seniors can be intimidating.  But sometimes you see a possible client and just have to go for it.

“I saw Bailee perform a beautiful ballet routine for the talent portion of a pageant and immediately approached her afterwards to give her my card and let her know I would love to shoot with her,” said Kayla Cobb of KC Photography.  “When the county fair came to town a few weeks later, I envisioned her in her tutu and pointe shoes, dancing around against the bright, colorful lights.”

Check out this beautiful session below and read what else Kayla had to share about it!  Thanks for sharing your work with Seniorologie Kayla!

Website:  www.kaylacobbphotography.com

Facebook:  www.facebook.com/kaylacobbphotography

Blog:  www.kaylcobbphotography.com

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What was your inspiration for this photo shoot?
I saw Bailee perform a beautiful ballet routine for the talent portion of a pageant and immediately approached her afterwards to give her my card and let her know I would love to shoot with her. When the county fair came to town a few weeks later, I envisioned her in her tutu and pointe shoes, dancing around against the bright, colorful lights.

Where did this photo shoot take place?
DeKalb County VFW Fair in Fort Payne, Alabama

Did you collaborate with this senior to come up with the clothing and/or concept for this shoot?
I told Bailee to bring along her favorite ballet outfits for this shoot, and she didn’t disappoint!

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What camera, lens or other equipment was used for this shoot?
Canon 5D MK II and Sigma 35mm 1.4

What time of day were these taken?
6 pm

Can you share any post-processing techniques used when editing this session?
I used some fun light leaks from Ashley Elizabeth Photography to add even more color to my images.

What is your favorite thing about this session?
I love the softness of Bailee’s expression and poses juxtaposed with the busy, bright colors of the fair. Some of my favorite images are the ones we took in the house of mirrors, which gave us amazing reflected light!

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What do you want this session to convey about this senior and about your senior photography style?
Bailee was such a good sport, popping in and out of difficult poses, even when surrounded by groups of people giving us funny looks. It means so much to me when clients trust me enough to suffer a little bit of embarrassment because they know it will make a stunning image.

What is one tip you can share with other photographers regarding photographing seniors?
Don’t be afraid to seek them out! This shoot wouldn’t have been possible if I hadn’t approached Bailee and told her about my business. It was well worth the 60 seconds it took me to introduce myself, tell her I loved her performance, and hand her my business card.

Topic Tuesday with Sara Cooney – {Instagram Contests}

Today’s Topic Tuesday is from our teen contributor Sara Cooney!  Today Sara gives us tips on running Instagram Contests for your senior clients!  Check it out below!  Thanks for sharing Sara!

Senior picture season is coming quick! (Are you ready?!) Many of us have been using this slower time to think about advertising and marketing for the class of 2016. There are so many different ways to go with how you choose to market to these juniors/upcoming seniors, which can make it difficult to figure out what will work best for you. One thing that many (including myself) have had success with are contests for a free or discounted senior session. Contests are an amazing way to spread the word about your business so if you are looking to get your name out there and gain more senior clients, I would definitely recommend it. Here are some tips on holding a successful senior photography contest for the class of 2016:

-Hold the contest on Instagram: One of the main benefits of having a contest like this is that it will get your name out to the upcoming seniors that will soon be in need of senior pictures. As I have said before, seniors are much more active on Instagram than they are on Facebook. If you want to get the most seniors involved that you can, holding the contest on Instagram is the best way to do it.

-Make the contest for a free or discounted session: Many times a parent will be the one paying for the session, but there are also times that the senior will be the one paying for the session, or splitting the cost with their parents. Making the contest for money off the session fee rather than a percent off a photo order will motivate the seniors and make them want it more, especially because if anything, the senior is more likely to be paying the session fee rather than the print order.

-Use the contest to get more followers: Make one of the rules of your contest that the senior must be following you on Instagram to be entered. You can even include that they must like your page on Facebook as well. I get questions all the time on how to get more followers and this is a great way to do it. Be sure that aside from the contest, you are posting things that will keep them interested so they won’t just unfollow you as soon as the contest is over.

-Spread the word of the contest to those who don’t follow you (yet): Make another rule of your contest that the senior has to tag 3 friends below in the comments to be entered. That way, if you don’t have many followers on your account, the contest will still reach out to many people. Say the one senior who was following you enters, then tags their three friends. Maybe only two out of the three friends tagged will enter, but then those two friends will tag their three friends who will all enter. Between these two rules of having to follow your account to be entered and tagging 3 friends, your name and business will start to spread very quickly and you should get lots of entries!

-Make reposting your contest ad an extra entry, not a requirement to be entered: If there is one thing that could possibly stop a senior from entering the contest, it would be if they were required to repost your ad on their account. I know it sounds weird because it is not a hard thing to do, but I know from experience that it could stop a senior from entering. Rather than making it a requirement, offer it as an extra entry. That way, those who don’t care about reposting will still have the option to do so. When they repost your ad on their own account, it will reach all of their followers which could be hundreds of people! Make sure they tag your photography account in the caption, so anybody interested can easily click to your account without having to search it.

-Give the contest a theme: If you want to make one of your rules of entry that they must repost something about the contest on their own account, instead of an ad, you could give your contest a theme. You could say that they have to post a selfie with a hashtag about the contest (make up the hashtag on your own so everyone will post the same one) and tag your account. And it doesn’t have to be a selfie…you could do it with anything. A picture from their favorite vacation, a picture with their friends, a picture of their favorite outfit, anything! Make it something that the senior would want to share on their account anyways (even without the contest).

So there you have it…my tips on how to hold a successful contest for the class of 2016! What contests have you done in the past? Were they successful? What do you plan on doing this year? Join my group on Facebook and feel free to leave your answers to those questions, or post if you ever have any questions for me! https://www.facebook.com/groups/700784033277979/

xo- Sara Cooney

Sara Cooney is an aspiring photographer and monthly contributor to Seniorologie. Sara shares information that help photographers reach the teen market by giving real tips on how photographers can reach the teen market. Sara started Sara Cooney Photography when she was a junior in high school and she photographs seniors, dancers, families, couples, musicians and has been a second shooter on a few weddings, which she plans on doing more of this year. Sara spent one semester at the University of Rhode Island and now will be attending the New England School of Photography in October to pursue her dream.

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