Incorporating Your Interests into Your Senior Photo Shoot
I take a lot of senior photos for Minneapolis-St. Paul area high school seniors every year. And every year I’m amazed at the creativity, talent, and intelligence of each year’s senior class. I think that’s just how we grow ‘em in Minnesota!
I love the seniors I photograph. I feel so lucky to work with these people!
This is my "mission statement" for seniors, straight from my welcome guide: I believe that your senior photo shoot should be very special, like you! Not simply a time to feel like a fashion model or a rockstar, but to go deeper than that, and to get to the heart of what is wonderful and beautiful about you as a person. My approach is very organic. I pose seniors naturally and with age-appropriateness, and I draw out real, meaningful expressions.
I’m not usually one to use props - I believe that natural is the most beautiful in an image. But I do love when my seniors find ways to express their interests in their photos. It’s a fun challenge to do it in an artistic way that really shows something meaningful about the senior. Not just about how they LOOK, but about who they ARE. It’s not ever necessary, and it’s not for everyone, but it can be really neat.
I photograph a lot of serious musicians when I do senior photos. The Twin Cities are a very arts-heavy area, and I’m a musician myself, so that makes sense. A musician is seldom without his or her instrument, so having it as another “character” in the session is so special. And fun!
One of my favorite things to do is to photograph a senior with a musical instrument outdoors in nature. It's a little unexpected, and a lot beautiful.
I also love to use dramatic studio light for my senior musicians - music implies drama, and I work to make the images match.
I've photographed violinists, violists, cellists (not a bassist yet, though - do you know any?), clarinetists, saxophonists, singers, pianists, flutists, guitarists, percussionists, trumpeters, horn players, trombonists... And if I could put out a special request, it'd be for a harpist. If you play the harp, call me!
I have worked with quite a few athletes as well. And I love to go beyond what’s traditional with them.
Believe it or not, I’ve done more than one “fishing” themed senior photo shoot. Minnesota has (more than) ten thousand lakes, so… of course! I love it!
Many of my seniors love books, and want to incorporate something literary into their shoots.
I've also had seniors bring their pets, usually dogs, to their photo shoots. Dogs are always, always welcome!
The possibilities really are endless! I hope this gives you a few ideas about how to incorporate your interests into your senior photo shoot. It doesn't have to be silly, or cheesy, or boring. You're not, so why should your pictures be?