Seniorologie » The Study of Senior Portrait Photography

Member Share Monday – {Pleiman Photography}

How long have you been in business? 5 years

What percentage of your business is seniors? Seniors are about 50% of my work, the other being comprised of families and children from newborns to teens.

What do you think makes a perfect senior session? Variety and capturing who the Senior really is whether it be incorporating their sports, clubs or hobbies, I want their Senior pictures to be a pictorial biography.

What do you love most about photographing seniors? This was an age group that I at first didn’t think I would be comfortable with. I’ve been out of school for 20-something years. What did I know about being a teenager at this point in time. However, I quickly realized that today’s young adults have a lot to offer. They are full of enthusiasm and their mind set is that they can do anything and many you cannot convince otherwise. I see them looking for ways to solve the troubles in the world, giving back to their community and setting high goals for themselves. I’ve learned something from each of my sessions and Seniors. They truly are an inspiration.

What would you say is the biggest challenge in your business? Staying unique with each session. I’ve done several Seniors from the same school and I strive to make sure each one is different. I don’t use the same location or backgrounds, especially if they are from the same school.

Describe your photography style? My favorite is to photograph outside using buildings, especially old rustic ones and speaking of rust…old cars and trucks, rusty metal fences, metal barn siding are just a few things that I look for. I also like to photograph in fields and using other landscaping. Anything with a lot of color or that I can use in a shallow aperture to get a colorful bokeh background is definitely my thing. I use natural light 99% of the time only pulling out artificial light if I absolutely have to. My editing style is a clean and natural edit. I want people to look at my photographs and feel like that individual is standing right in from of them. I use very few actions only to clean up skin, give the picture a little pop and occasionally if it enhances the emotion of the picture I will change the tones slightly to warm up the picture. I feel that too many actions, textures and artificial enhancements not only lowers the quality of the picture but hides the subject. Just my opinion :0)

What motivates or inspires you in your photography? I always try to plan ahead and write some poses down and refer to them while I’m shooting, but 9 times out of 10, I don’t even pull my notes out. I usually draw my motivation and inspiration from my clients. I study my subject and pose them in ways that’s most flattering to them, what makes their eyes sparkle or the way they tilt their head and give me a natural smile. I watch the way they stand or where they put their hands when we are just chatting and I use their poses. You can’t hide awkwardness when you put them in a pose that they just are not comfortable in.

Twenty Questions Game…Just for fun!
Where are you from/live? Anna, Ohio

Married? Yes

Kids? 5, 3 boys and 2 girls

What are their ages? 13, 11, 6, 5 & 4

Nikon or Cannon? Canon :0)

What kind of camera bag do you carry? A 31 bag with a custom made insert.

Favorite music to edit to? Anything country especial Little Big Town and Kenny Chesney

Favorite Photoshop Action? Anything by Michelle Kane. I’ve purchased many, but hers is the only ones I use on a regular basis

A photographer that inspires you? Joshua Carter, Russell James, Michelle Kane and Crave Photography

Favorite Food? Pizza

Favorite place to shop? Altar’d State

Favorite drink at Starbucks? Anything

Favorite Guilty Pleasure? Ghirardelli Chocolate

Favorite memory from when you were a senior? That was too long ago :0( Can’t come up with anything good.

Favorite Quote or Saying? Live simply, speak kindly, love generously

Favorite Workshop or photography event you have attended? Folio Love

Favorite Magazine? Real Simple

Favorite Vacation Spot? Hilton Head
Favorite Movie? Elf :0)